IDUN Technologies is developing sensors to measure human emotions through headphones. The company has joined the Microsoft for Startups program to strengthen its go-to-market as well as co-selling opportunities.
The principle of the Internet of Things is to connect physical and virtual objects and make them work together. IDUN Technologies’ vision goes further and puts people at the center. “We want to found the Internet of Humans – a world where devices respond to a user’s emotional needs, creating empathetic technology,” says Séverine Chardonnens, CCO and co-founder of IDUN Technologies. CEO Simon Bachmann explains: “Our patented flagship product is called DRYODE™ Guardian. It’s a sensor that can be built into headphones like Microsoft’s Surface Earbuds to measure human emotions based on brain waves.”
The ETH Zurich spin-off uses signal processing and machine learning to classify human emotions based on brain waves recorded in the ear canal. The startup is positioning itself in the B2B field and licenses its technology to other companies for use in the next generation of headphones.
Azure Cloud ensures scalability
The areas of application are wide-ranging: for example, the music playlist or smart lights at home can adapt directly to the wearer’s state of mind. It is also possible to integrate the sensor into Outlook or Teams via plug-ins. For example, the sensor could schedule breaks when the person is stressed. “That’s precisely why we’re excited to be part of Microsoft’s startup program,” says Bachmann. “This not only ensures the scalability of our solutions on the Microsoft Azure Cloud, but also gives us access to a network of experts. Thanks to mentoring and technical support, we are strengthening our go-to-market strategy and working on co-selling opportunities with Microsoft.”
The most important pillar for the startup, however, is trust. Séverine Chardonnens emphasizes: “We want our end consumers to know that we’re here for them. From material development to data processing, we rely on a holistic approach.” The data can thus be anonymized on the device before it ends up on the cloud. The opt-out option is always transparently guaranteed. “In addition, we have no interest in getting into neuromarketing or the arms industry,” Chardonnens says.
Microsoft welcomes the fact that the startup’s values align with its own. “Mental health is a big challenge for everyone at this time. And on such a sensitive topic, privacy is equally important, which we consider a fundamental human right,” says Andrew Reid, Head of the Swiss “Microsoft for Startups” program. “For this reason, we are thrilled to support IDUN Technologies in its mission given the strong alignment in ethical values.”
The IDUN team is now in its next round of funding. The company is seeking deep-tech investors to work together to fundamentally change interactions with the digital environment and build the Internet of Humans.