Non-invasive biometrics applications for Sensory, Consumer sciences and potential applications in Psychiatry using machine learning and artificial intelligence


A novel App (EmotionApp) have been developed by the sensory science group from The University of Melbourne to gather self-reported sensory data and non-invasive emotional and physiological responses from panelists. The EmotionApp can be uploaded to tablet PCs and different type of sensory scales can be programmed such as 9-point hedonic scale and 3 and 5-points just about right scales, yes/no questions such as purchase intention, non-parametric continuous scales for descriptive tests, continuous face-scale, and multiple-choice questions for tests such as CATA. Furthermore, the App allows upload of images, sound and videos as part of questionnaires, which is useful for sensory analysis of design concepts, packaging or pouring of brewages, such as beer and sparkling wine. The App can gather information for each question from the integrated high-resolution camera from the tablet PC and a FLIR AX8 camera attached to the system, if available. The recorded videos can be processed using a commercial software, such as FaceReader™ to obtain eight different emotions and two dimensions. With the same videos, heart rate and blood pressure can be obtained using customized machine learning algorithms developed by the sensory group based on changes in luminosity of different face regions with an accuracy of 85%. Body temperature changes can be obtained using the FLIR infrared thermal camera. The App developed, and the associated analysis system make possible to obtain biometrics from panelists that can be analyzed using multivariate data analysis techniques and machine learning algorithms to generate models describing liking of food and brewage products based on physiological inputs from the App. The system described has been already used in sensory booths and in social contexts to assess packaging and different food products such as wine, beer, chocolates and agricultural / horticultural produces. Recently, potential applications have been explored to assess biomarkers and bio-traits for the assessment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD).

Speaker Bio

Sigfredo Fuentes is an Associate Professor in Digital Agriculture, Food and Wine Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Previously he worked at the Universities of Adelaide, Technology, Sydney; Western Sydney (PhD) and Chile. His scientific interests ranges from climate change impacts on agriculture, development of new computational tools for plant physiology, food and wine sciences, new and emerging sensor technology, proximal, short and long range remote sensing using robots and UAVs, machine learning and artificial intelligence.