Fujitsu Laboratories

Fujitsu Laboratories uses online participants to enhance facial expression research

The Challenge

Fujitsu Laboratories, a wholly owned subsidiary of the research arm of Fujitsu Ltd., has been researching facial expression recognition technology for several years to detect various mental states. In order to develop more advanced models, Fujitsu Laboratories designed and conducted several online UX research experiments. These included cognitive games that require different levels of user interaction and mental engagement to complete the tasks, as well as self-input surveys. For more details on the research and the online experiment, please click here.

For the next step, Fujitsu Laboratories needed to recruit users across different demographic categories to fine-tune the AI models to be more inclusive and trustworthy. Due to time limitations, Fujitsu Laboratories partnered with Liveminds to find engaged participants for the project.

The challenge was to find 100 people evenly spread across the US from different age groups and ethnicities (at least 20% from BAME communities) who met the following criteria:

  • 50/50 gender split
  • Own a PC/laptop with Windows 10 and camera installed or connected
  • Comfortable using apps and being recorded at the same time
  • Familiar with uploading files to a server (with instruction)

The Solution


The project involved using Behavioural Recruitment to find 100 people across the United States. It was important that all participants be from a wide cross-section of society, evenly spread in age and gender and across a range of ethnicities.

By using Behavioural Recruitment, Liveminds was able to hyper-target the right audience based on their daily online activities and genuine interests. They also used a range of different adverts to optimise the campaign by A/B testing imagery, and creative and targeting options.

Potential participants who matched all of the required criteria were moved into the qualification stage, where they were invited to take a detailed screener to make sure that they were truly representative.


In addition to the diverse demographic categories, the online experiment also required the participants to have certain computer skills and be comfortable performing cognitive tasks with their face recorded.

To accelerate the process, Fujitsu Laboratories built a dedicated website to fully digitalise and automate the procedure, allowing participants to do the experiment remotely on their own, including downloading the applications and uploading their data and surveys.

Participants then completed six tasks within one week and answered survey questions online after completing each task. The participants needed to conduct all tasks while their facial expressions were being recorded, and upload their data to the website.

The Results

The whole project was initiated and finished within three weeks, with 90 high-quality participants successfully completing all six tasks and uploading their video data, task scores and survey results. Fujitsu Laboratories were delighted with the feedback they received and will use the data collected to build novel facial expression models with higher performance and better accuracy targeted at different mental states.

With Covid-19’s impact on face-to-face research, Fujitsu Laboratories believes this approach and the facial expression recognition technology of this experiment will provide an innovative solution for the future of online market research.

Winnie Tsou
Liveminds’ Behavioural Recruitment service, their experience in recruiting online research participants for video recording, and excellent service helped pull things together quickly and made it possible for us to complete the project on time and with highly satisfactory results! Winnie Tsou
Director, Fujitsu Laboratories of America, Inc.​

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