Jaguar XE Biometrics - Ignite the Senses

Jaguar Xe

The team behind the new Jaguar XE wanted to find out exactly what emotion does to your body whilst driving such a high end sports car.


PR Campaign


11 December 2015

Body and Contextual Data

Facial Recognition, GSR, and Heat Rate


  • Jaguar
  • Spark 44


Our challenge was to capture the emotional engagement of four key influencers in the automotive industry whilst taking a Jaguar XE to it’s limits...


Jaguar provided us with a recent XF model for preparation, which we brought to Nutts Corner Circuit, here in Northern Ireland. We took exclusive use of the track allowing us to stretch the XF far more than we could in an on-road environment. We brought with us an array of sensors, to determine what worked best for data quality, and interfered least with the driver’s experience.

Each driver wore a GSR (Galvanic Skin Response) sensor, which measured changes in micro-sweat levels. These changes can be traced to the activity of the Autonomic Nervous System, and are indicative of emotions such as fear and excitement. Similarly we tested heart rate, using a Polar chest strap or wrist based Mio Link, exploring data integrity with regards to body placement.

The key to understanding emotional response is context. The XF model was fitted with three GoPro cameras; one facing the road ahead, one facing the driver and one on the driver’s window. The footage was in fact dual purpose, as we could then analyse the driver’s micro expressions, affording us another layer of insight. 

Each driver sought to achieve the fastest lap time possible and after completion, we studied the real-time data to glean an understanding of what their bodies went through.

Although the facial recognition data provided insight as to the driver’s nerves, we also found that for large parts of the lap, participants were mostly neutral in their expressions- due to concentration. When it came to running the full track day the decision to wear helmets meant we were unable to process accurate facial coding, so this element was left out of our final deliverables.

For phase two we hooked up our key influencers with wrist based GSR and Heart Rate sensors, as we knew them to be the most reliable in terms of data, and also the most comfortable. With our GoPros in position, we were ready to capture the emotional engagement of our drivers. The portability of our Insights app, built from our Emotion AI SDK, allowed us to easily carry out the project in situ, gathering true emotional responses in real time.

Each participant first had two laps as the passenger, driven by a professional, before they themselves took the wheel, and the biometric responses revealed markedly clear differences between experiences.


As drivers, each participant experienced a 3-stage pattern, (that we’d first found in our initial proof of concept phase,) since they were in control. These stages were made up of anticipation, focus and finally an increasingly controlled level of exhilaration. As passengers, however, their biometrics spiked rapidly from the thrill of a professional driver taking the XE to it’s absolute limits. To round the project off, our design department rendered all the raw data visually for Jaguar, showcasing how emotional engagement can sync with the actual experience through media.

Ben Bland

Chief Operations Officer