In my last post, I talked about was the need for the insurance industry to re-humanise interactions between businesses and customers. But in situations where a digital interface is an appropriate choice, what does the future look like?

Until now, increasingly capable software has been geared towards helping employees make better and faster decisions. Human-machine conversations have been isolated to a series of rigid ‘commands’ without the accompanying range of emotional information found in human conversation.

But with an influx of big data—and advances in processing power, data science, and cognitive technology—this is changing. Advances in sensors, social media, synthetic materials, newly published digital design philosophies (such as Google’s material design), are resulting in a world where insurers can start to communicate using an emotional palette of visual expressions.

Examples of companies that are paving the way include Emotient with their real-time facial expression recognition software, Alderbaran with a new humanoid robot that is capable of detecting emotions through vocal analysis and facial recognition, and SmartCardia with their INYU device which can use emotions to control Internet-connected objects.

While machines are making strides forward in understanding human communications, we too are adopting new ways of expressing our emotions. Emojis, for example, have become part of our common language, which is not surprising considering we live in a highly visual culture.

For insurers, these changes mean that we can look forward to our inputs including increasingly emotive content, to the point where we might actually be developing emotional connections with machines. As gesture, facial and vocal recognition quickly become realities, we can expect we will soon witness profound new interactions.

Trends 2015: Trends Impacting Design & Innovation
Read the report.

In their 2015 Trends report, Fjord makes the following recommendations for companies wanting to invest in this future:

  • Find your company’s personality, and incorporate it into your digital touchpoints. For example, infuse digital ‘smiles’ into your ecosystems.
  • Think about emotionally responsive user interfaces.
  • Use Emojis. Consider incorporating this language into your messaging, notification and authentication platforms.
  • Start a robot strategy. Could your company take advantage of retail robots acting as your digital delivery platform?
  • Consider gestures. Does your service cry out for more human interaction? Are there elements of your business that could benefit from a gesture-based user interface?

I believe these emotional interfaces combined with the real human interactions of omni-colleagues can propel insurers to the next level of operational excellence.

In my next post I’ll look at the ways that digital disruption is going physical.

In the meantime, to learn more, read the Fjord 2015 Trends report.

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