Emotion AI

Facial Coding: Key Use Cases and Applications

Facial expressions serve as an indicator of human emotions, a fact that is accepted globally. Expressions are a wealth of insights and the key to accessing the treasure trove is facial coding. Facial coding is a robust methodology to decipher the dynamics of human emotions.

Not every emotion is observed as a smile, hence, facial coding plays a pivotal role in revealing the intricate layers of various facial expressions. In this read, we’ll dive deep into the vast ocean of facial coding, and discover its potential to decode human emotional cues and its practical role in empowering your business strategies.

The Facial Action Coding System (FACS)

The Facial Action Coding System (FACS) encapsulates an extensive brochure of facial muscle movements which was initially conceptualized by Carl-Herman Hjortsjö in 1970 and later refined by Paul Ekman and Wallace Friesen. Originally it comprised only 23 facial motion units, with time this system evolved with significant updates in 2002.


FACS is an important aid that decodes and interprets emotions delivered through facial expressions. This technology allows real-time assessment of publicly displayed emotions, a unique and efficient assessment technique compared to fEMG, interviews, or psychometric tests. FACS eradicates post-stimulus evaluation and removes the temporal gap in emotional response analysis.


Before the discovery of FACS, researchers manually decoded video recordings which was a time-intensive process. However, technological advancements now enable automatic facial expression analysis, eliminating the need for meticulous frame-by-frame analysis by trained personnel. This not only saves a considerable amount of time but also reduces the cost associated with human-intensive coding procedures.

FACS Metrics

Facial action coding systems encompass a diverse array of metrics and variables, offering insights into various aspects of facial expressions, including:


  • Emotions: encompassing joy, anger, surprise, fear, contempt, sadness, and disgust.


  • Facial Expressions: comprising attention, brow furrow, brow raise, cheek raise, chin raise, dimpler, eye closure, eye widen, inner brow raise, jaw drops, lid tightening, lip corner depressor, lip press, lip pucker, lip stretch, lip suck, mouth open, nose wrinkle, smile, smirk, upper lip raise.


  • Emoji Expressions: reflecting laughing, smiley, relaxed, winking, kissing, stuck out tongue, stuck out tongue and winking eye, scream, flushed, smirk, disappointed, rage, neutral.


  • Interocular Distance: measuring the distance between the two outer eye corners.


  • Engagement: quantifying emotional engagement or expressiveness by computing a weighted sum of specific facial expressions.


  • Sentiment Valence: delineating positive, negative, and neutral sentiments. The likelihood of valence metrics is determined based on observed facial expressions.


These metrics, about emotion, expression, and emoji, are probabilistic measures. Scores ranging from 0 to 100 signify the probability or likelihood of a particular emotion or expression being displayed.

Exploring Facial Coding Applications

Facial coding is a webcam-based and location-independent technology making it easy to deploy. It is highly scalable, and budget-friendly, and its incredible ability of information visualization amplifies its appeal.


Marketers can easily track expressions and analyze customers’s emotions as they engage with screens during a virtual college. One of the early adopters of FACS is BBC, utilizing webcams and facial coding to gauge emotional responses to show trailers and reactions to TV programs.


Big research firms like GfK’s EMO Scan leverage consumers’ webcams to record real-time facial expressions during advertising viewing. But never forget facial expressions vary across different cultures, demographics, and individuals, posing a major challenge.


Despite all the technological advancements, an accurate measurement of emotional intensity is still quite a major issue. While facial coding reveals emotion valence and class, assessing emotional arousal intensity proves challenging. By merging facial with prominent biometric technologies responses become critical for emotional assessment. 

Deciphering Facial Expressions for Quantifiable Business Insights

Facial coding operates by correlating facial appearances to emotions and to deduce outputs researchers have tailored a codebook. The codebook consists interpretation of a facial expression just like a spy thriller’s codebook. In this context, specific facial expressions hold designated meanings, allowing analysts to decode respondents’ expressions using this guide.


Imaging a retailer testing new store designs and deciphering immediate facial reactions from the shoppers can be considered a practical application. Retailers capture the reaction and interpret the raw data to swiftly decode emotions. This data gives the visibility of the shopper’s preferences by uncovering associated feelings.


Facial is a complementary tool to what we know “qualitative research. While qualitative research navigates the complex relationship between what consumers articulate and what they genuinely feel.


Moreover, facial coding seamlessly collaborates with broader body language research too. Although, efficiency still poses a major challenge

Introducing Virtual Meetings Pro by TheLightbulb: Empowering Sales Dynamics

Virtual Meeting Pro

Navigating from capturing images to deriving actionable insights is a multifaceted challenge demanding a robust solution. Enter Virtual Meetings Pro, a powerful solution by TheLightbulb, employing cutting-edge emotion AI technology for comprehensive Facial Coding interpretation. This tool revolutionizes sales teams and leadership’s ability to deeply analyze customer interactions during virtual meetings, ultimately steering toward more successful deal closures.

Key Advantages

For Sales Reps:

  • Effortlessly delegate administrative tasks like note-taking or meeting recording
  • Receive real-time alerts on participant emotions and engagement levels
  • Access in-depth post-meeting insights encompassing sales performance, meeting sentiment, action items, tasks, and questions
  • Facilitate easy sharing of key moments for supervisor feedback or escalated discussions
  • Monitor account activity and forecast based on meeting-specific status updates

For Sales Leadership:

  • Gain detailed insights into every online sales interaction across all sales reps
  • Review meeting recordings and transcripts to glean insights for performance enhancement
  • Encourage knowledge sharing within the team by sharing significant moments and best practices
  • Accurately track account progress for precise revenue forecasting
  • Identify and intervene in deals at risk of being lost
  • Enable seamless knowledge transfer, particularly during employee attrition

How It Operates:

  • Seamless Calendar Integration: Effortlessly sync with Outlook or Gmail calendars through one-click integration
  • Permission Management: Authorize VM Pro to join, record, transcribe, and analyze meetings
  • Automated Administrative Tasks: Witness VM Pro auto-joining meetings to transcribe, record, and provide emotion and engagement cues
  • Real-time Feedback: Receive instant emotion and engagement insights for meeting participants, with control over alert types and frequencies
  • Comprehensive Post-Meeting Analysis: Access detailed insights derived from the deployment of Facial Coding and Conversational AI technology
  • Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing: Easily share impactful moments and insights, receive coaching from senior sales resources, and facilitate learning

Why VM Pro Is Essential for Sales Enablement?

VM Pro is the only sales enablement tool integrating state-of-the-art visual emotion AI technology—offering emotion recognition and engagement mapping during live video conferences across various VC platforms. Combined with advanced conversational AI, it becomes an unparalleled tool for a video-first B2B sales environment.


This tool caters not only to sales reps but also to sales operations and leadership teams. From enhancing sales coaching to tracking deals and fostering knowledge transfer, VM Pro is a user-friendly yet comprehensive sales enablement solution with diverse applications.


With affordable packages, adaptable admin-team structures, and a straightforward licensing model, VM Pro offers affordability for large, geographically dispersed sales and customer success teams operating in a digital-first paradigm. It seamlessly integrates with leading video-conferencing platforms such as Gmeet, Zoom, or MS Teams based on organizational preferences.

Over to You

Facial coding research bridges the gap between human emotions and marketing effectiveness. It leverages scientific understanding to decode subtle facial expressions, providing marketers with actionable insights to refine strategies for maximum impact and resonance.

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