Adventure travel company Explore challenged us at Bright Signals to come up with an interesting new way for customers to browse their wide range of guided adventure trips. They have over 500 different itineraries ranging from cycling trips in Thailand to safari adventures in Africa and cultural excursions in Venice.

Researched showed that people spend almost as much time planning their holidays as they do actually away on holiday. And a large percentage of them find the process really stressful.

We thought it would be fun to take all the stress out of holiday planning and help customers find their ideal holiday without even having to think about it. Instead, we’d read their minds.
This project would soon turn out to be one of Bright Signals most ambitious, using electroencephalography technology that was a first for us.

Initially we started researching electroencephalography to see just what it would take to accurately read emotional signals from members of the public. Various different headsets and algorithms were analysed before we found the right solution.

With this research behind us, we worked with our in-house video editor to create a two-minute holiday ‘mood film’. For maximum authenticity, this was compiled entirely from amateur footage shot by tour leaders and members of the public on Explore trips.

Once the edit was complete, the footage was logged, categorised and mapped to bespoke software that was written in-house so that we could track the brain’s emotional responses in real-time, shot-by-shot and theme-by-theme.

The next step was creating an immersive experience that we could take on tour, comprising of a backdrop, multiple screens, and a sound-isolating egg-shaped chair that participants sit in to watch our video.

The mind reading machine travelled to Edinburgh, Manchester and Reading where the experience was enjoyed by hundreds of members of the public and dozens of bloggers, press and broadcasters.

The buzz around it was incredible, with queues of people waiting to take part, and coverage in the Daily Mail, The Scotsman, Edinburgh Evening News, Manchester Evening News, and lots of high-profile blogs. It also made the national radio news bulletins throughout the day on Heart, Smooth FM and Capital FM.