The number of voice-controlled services and devices, such as the personal assistants of Google and Amazon, is increasing rapidly.

While technologies able to capture and understand voice commands are well developed, there is still room for furthering the ability of voice-controlled devices to understand not only the words used but what the voice itself expresses.

“An emotion analysis of voice data experiences has the capacity to increase the purchase conversion rate with 20%,” said Empath CSO Hazumu Yamazaki during his pitch.

Real time analysis of vocal emotion

The emotion artificial intelligence technology developed by Empath is able to identify four different kinds of emotions expressed by the voice: joy, calmness, anger and sorrow. This is done by analysing multiple physical properties of the voice and is possible regardless of the language used. The analysis is done in real time, a huge advantage according to Mr Yamazaki as users rarely speak to voice-controlled devices for more than 30 seconds. Empath already has 700 customers in 47 countries and is now targeting the Europe in particular. “We believe that Luxembourg is the best hub for breaking into the European market so we are now looking for partners here,” said Mr Yamazaki.

“Empath is a high tech project with a lot of potential and numerous potential applications, in call centres for examples,” said Jean-Michel Ludwig, Director Start-up Support & SME Performance at Luxinnovation and member of the Pitch Your Start-up jury. “We chose to reward this company which is complementary to many other start-ups that analyse emotions based on images, text and so on.”

Solutions for the senses

French start-up Sniffy Solutions won the BIL Innovation Award of €20,000 for its multisensorial communication tool: a screen that allows potential clients to discover products not only through vision and sound but also through their sense of smell. The screen diffuses perfumes that can give clients an idea of both the smell and the taste of the product they are interested in.

The €10,000 for the best pitch went to Luxembourg start-up Mu Design for its home camera Ulo. This little home surveillance device, shaped as an owl, communicates through eye expression and can be used to follow what is going on in a home via live streams. It is able to detect intrusions, fire and falls of elderly people, for example.

World-wide interest

The Pitch Your Start-up competition was launched in 2014 by Docler Holding with the support of Luxinnovation. The 2018 edition attracted 180 applicants from 35 different countries. “We could never image that it would become so big,” said Docler Holding COO Marton Fülöp when opening the pitching session. In addition to the prizes with a total worth of €100,000, the 15 start-ups selected to participate in the pitching session also had an excellent opportunity to become known by potential partners and supporters in Luxembourg.

“The 2018 edition of Pitch Your Start-up is definitely a success, not least as it has become very international and attracted applicants from all over the world,” commented Mr Ludwig. “The Luxinnovation start-up team is very happy to have been collaborating with Docler Holding on this competition for four years already, and I think the initiative has the potential to help enrich the start-up ecosystem in Luxembourg also in the future.”


Luxinnovation’s start-up team can provide you with the right information on Luxembourg’s attractive business environment for innovative companies. Our services include individual support to set up a business plan, to create the company and to find private and public funding. We also provide pitching advice and training to help you turn opportunities into success.

Luxinnovation contributes to the economic development of Luxembourg by fostering innovation, fuelling international growth and attracting foreign direct investment supported by: Ministry of the Economy, Ministry for Higher Education and Research, Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Luxembourg Chamber of Skilled Crafts and FEDIL – The Voice of Luxembourg’s Industry.

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