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Ready or Not, Companies Will Soon Be Tracking Your Emotions

These entrepreneurs are racing to claim a new tech frontier: your emotions.

Deep in the bowels of Houston's 72,000-seat NRG Stadium, in a curtained-off makeshift room near the court where the Villanova Wildcats and the University of North Carolina Tarheels are playing for the NCAA basketball championship, a small team of engineers and data scientists from a company called Lightwave huddles over laptops watching a stream of real-time data. But the engineers aren't looking at shooting percentages. The millions of data points show how excited the fans are every 10th of a second--whether they're clapping, screaming, jumping up and down, or sitting sullenly.

Throughout the stadium, fans wear custom-built wrist­­bands that send real-timebiometric data to the engineers, while dozens of hidden sensors record decibel levels and other intel. When something big happens, another Lightwave team in New York City races to design and tweet slick infographics. For almost 30 seconds before Villanova made its game-winning buzzer beater, fans of both teams sat motionless and quiet, utterly transfixed. Lightwave's hard data showed an audience at peak engagement--information that marketers live for.

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