Emotiv Systems, Inc.: It's the Thoughts that Count
Emotiv is getting ready to launch its innovative brain-computer interfacing (BCI) technology. The company has developed a special headset, called EPOC, and highly sophisticated software that can translate a person's emotions, cognitive thoughts and facial expressions into digital outcomes. Emotiv wants the technology to be adopted by mainstream consumers and is leaning towards the video game market as its primary initial target. However, it needs to decide whether to continue efforts to convince one of the big three console makers (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii) to enable the EPOC on their platform or to settle for the PC gaming market. Alternatively, the company could have chosen a number of different markets to focus on (such as medical, military, market research). A host of additional marketing decisions (pricing, channels, bundling a demo game) need to be made. The case allows students to grapple with the issues of: selecting a target application for the launch of an innovation; determining the importance of having a big name partner for the launch by an unknown start-up; considering the wisdom of taking a B2C rather than B2B approach with a novel technology; using analogous products to forecast demand and sales for a new technology.