Cognisess at the Wearable Technology Show 2017

This month Cognisess attended the Wearable Technology Show in London to showcase its EEG racing helmet that’s taking predictive people analytics onto the racing track.

Ayrton WTS2017Young elite driver Ayrton Simmons attended to demo the world first technology, alongside Cognisess CEO Chris Butt, Chief Scientific Officer Dr Boris Altemeyer and Research Associate Gerry Taulo. Boris took to the stage to talk about the ground breaking research, sharing insights on machine learning and predictive people analytics in elite sport with an engaged crowd.

A high profile event

The Wearable Technology Show is the largest event for wearables, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), the Internet of Things and connected technology. With over 200 speakers and 75 hours of talks and panel discussions, Cognisess was among those at the forefront of wearable technology.

Chris Butt, Cognisess CEO, said: “WTS 2017 was a great success for Cognisess. We had considerable interest in the launch of the world’s first racing helmet/EEG combination. Ayrton Simmons, part of the Young Racing Driver Academy and tipped to be a future F1 driver, joined us throughout and demonstrated the power of the brain telemetry. We look forward to rolling this technology out more widely.”

Ayrton Simmons

World first innovation and collaboration

Ayrton Simmons, young driver with the Young Racing Driver Academy, said: “The show was really interesting, amazing to see how the technology is evolving! It was also a good media training occasion for me, with various filming and interviews for different channels.

“I think Cognisess’ work is very valuable – anything that could help improve racing drivers’ performance is definitely worth being taken seriously. I feel privileged to be part of the development and the first one in the world to try it.”

Dr Boris Altemeyer, Chief Scientific Officer at Cognisess, said: “The event, both as a show and the panel stream, exceeded our already high expectations. It is great to see that the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit in this sector is stronger than ever, generating a lot of interest in our projects and solutions.

“We made great contacts who share the scientific and open minded approach that we base our work on, and are very much looking forward to exploring new collaborations in the coming weeks. The panel was great, and João, who facilitated it, was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed the session and hope it was useful to the people attending it.”

Ayrton Simmons 2

Taking brain telemetry to the masses

The EEG racing helmet allows live streaming of a driver’s brain waves to the pit crew. This real time information on driver state of mind and level of concentration is highly important, affecting performance on the track. Combined with Cognisess Deep Learn™, patterns of processing not in line with the driver’s best performance on the track can be spotted, predicting – and alerting drivers to – potential cognitive pitfalls.

Take a look at our WTS 2017 gallery for more photos from the two-day event, and read more about the launch of our cutting edge research with the Young Racing Driver Academy, Brain telemetry: Predicting performance of elite drivers.

For more information on Cognisess Deep Learn™ and our work in elite sport, contact


New Cognisess partner: TheTalentFinders

Cognisess continues to partner with those pushing the boundaries of recruitment science. TheTalentFinders uses the Cognisess Deep Learn™ engine to provide its customers with “the best technology available”.

TheTalentFinders, based in London, pride themselves on being at the forefront of their profession, leading the way in developing and shaping the talent industry and having their fingers on the pulse of whatever’s likely to happen in the future. The founders have over fifteen years of experience in recruitment, talent management, development, assessment, employer brand, retention and succession planning.

Alan Walker, Co-founder of TheTalentFinders, said: “Partnering with Cognisess – as part of our TalentMap service – allows us to bring to our customers the best technology available – and enables our customers to make better talent acquisition decisions & improve employee development.”

TheTalentFinders TalentMap service uses gamification to access employees and candidates, measuring individuals against benchmarks and using advanced analytics to predict potential and future performance. At the forefront of this technology, Cognisess is the perfect partner.

For more information on partnering with Cognisess and taking advantage of the very latest in machine learning technology and predictive people analytics, contact us at

The future of wearable technology

With the launch of our ground-breaking research with the Young Racing Driver Academy at Arden using Muse EEG headset technology, we are at the forefront of wearable tech. Dr Boris Altemeyer, Chief Scientific Officer at Cognisess, will be heading to the Wearable Technology Show in London next week to share our world first study. Here he shares his thoughts on attending the Show.

Over the past 12 months wearable technology has become more available than ever before. There are plenty of systems available that are designed to monitor performance and entertain, but the crucial aspect is to show the world how wearable technology can make a true difference to how things are done and unleash potential.

We work with high performance teams and facilitate high performance in many different areas, including sport, industry, and research. We want to speak with anyone interested in applying the technology available in real life, and make available to larger groups what we are pioneering in elite settings.

We believe that wearable technology will undergo a similar development as we have seen with mobile technology in terms of its availability, use and ease of integration.

Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU collaboration across the globe might become a bit more difficult, but it will be more important than ever. Whilst we are very proud to work closely with some of Britain’s most talented people in their respective areas of expertise and performance, we firmly believe in making products that facilitate high performance attainable for a wide audience available all over the globe. This is why we are expanding our network and are working closely with our research and product partners in Canada, the US, as well as of course Europe and Asia.

Having worked in the wearable technology sector from an academic and research perspective, I am very excited to present our developments to the community and get feedback on our projects.

For more information on Cognisess’ work with young drivers, or to arrange to speak to Boris at the Wearable Technology Show in London next week, email us at

Cognisess on digital transformation in the workplace

Zack Weisfeld, MD of the Microsoft Accelerator, is attending the Mobile World Congress this month to join a panel on the topic of “digital transformation in the workplace”. He will be talking about a select number of Microsoft Accelerator start-ups, including Cognisess. Here we share our thoughts on the topic.

–          Are businesses ahead or behind in understanding employee requirements and embracing digital technology?

In our market exploration we’ve found that, in general, businesses are both aware of the new technologies and of the needs of employees. The bottleneck we experience is the gap between knowledge of the needs and issues, and understanding the extent of the impact of the solutions. This makes decision makers hesitant to invest in technology that could be a turning point for a business and make a huge difference to employee satisfaction and wellbeing.

To address this need for knowledge, Cognisess has introduced a Feedback Loop into the Deep Learn™ machine learning platform. This allows continuous tracking of the impact of the recruitment strategy and employee engagement activities delivered through the system. Linking this with 360 Feedback capability, the impact of the technology on the needs of the employees is finally accessible.


–          Has the rise of productivity and collaboration tools used by employees over the past few years actually made us more productive?

From what we have seen in terms of technology use in the past few years, the introduction of new services has certainly made a difference to the overall productivity of organisations and people within them. However, the limiting factor here is the initial level of ‘job-fit’ that has been achieved.

A person who would generally be more suited to a different job role, would be much more productive in the role with higher job-fit. Cognisess uses machine learning and advanced job profile matching based on cognitive performance assessments and social cohesion measures to maximise job-fit. This leads to higher performance with higher perceived motivation by the employees, and reduced churn.


–          What is the future of assistive technology such as machine learning in the workplace and how will employees embrace the technology?

Assistive technology such as machine learning will change the workplace dramatically in the next few years, and has already begun doing so. Cognisess already uses machine learning to create ‘best-match’ job profilers using millions of data points, including language use and text analysis. This helps athletes enhance their performance by understanding how their brain operates best.

For employees, embracing machine learning provides valuable insights. Having this information available will be a significant improvement to job satisfaction in many areas of work, as guesswork can be taken out of the equation when making decisions. Given the powerful Azure platform and live data feeds to ML, waiting for quarterly reports can be eliminated, as real time data allows for the best decision making background – at any point in time.


–          What do you see as the biggest market trends in 2017 and 2018?  

According to Bersin, some of the big upcoming market trends include performance management and real-time engagement evaluation. Cognisess has regular feedback built in to the system, alongside online assessments, all accessible by mobile.

There are increasing numbers of tools such as jobs boards, candidate assessments, video interviews and application tracking systems all designed to streamline the process of hiring. And there has also been growth in the area of wellness and fitness monitoring, which Cognisess also includes in its offering.

The field of people analytics has exploded, increasing diversity in the workplace and allowing predictions to be made on which people will perform best in certain roles. In this area, machine learning and automation are the big trends. Cognisess Deep Learn™ machine learning engine enables complex data to be combined and used to predict future success.


–          What does the industry need to do better to help companies?

Cognisess offers an all in one solution to significantly reduce the cost and time taken to get recruitment technology into effect within businesses.

In a recent article from ERE Media, Unilever described their use of a multi-platform process. The first step is an application and LinkedIn sync, the second a Pymetrics assessment, the third a HireVue video interview, before a full day even at Unilever. This all makes up a two-week process.

In contrast, Cognisess provides the ability to complete an application that includes comprehensive assessments, written information and a video interview all in one, reducing time and cost.


–          How do you see the employee experience evolving and what technologies will they be drawn to in the future?

Cognisess’ all in one approach not only benefits employers, but candidates too. Accessing one simple and intuitive platform where they can follow through clear steps to fill in their details, complete assessments, and record video interview responses.

And once employed, these individuals can go on to receive 360 feedback from their colleagues, monitor their own health and wellbeing, and continually monitor their skills and improve their self awareness and personal development.


For more information on the Cognisess platform and the Cognisess Deep Learn™ machine learning engine, contact us at

Apprenticeship Levy: Selecting the right apprentice with Cognisess

In April 2017 the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy will begin, with all companies with a total pay bill of over £3million having to give 0.5% of this to the Government to fund apprenticeships.

With more young apprentices being hired, often with little or no previous work experience, Cognisess provides a way to select those most likely to succeed.

As an organisation hiring young apprentices, it’s easy to worry about the risks. Without prior work experience or a good knowledge of the work they would like to do, some young people may be more likely to leave a job. However, the benefits of finding the right young people who will fit the culture of your company and develop quickly are significant.

Skills Training UK – an employability provider – states that 92% of employers who take on apprentices believe that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce*. Hiring an apprentice who works their way up the ranks of your organisation means they know your business inside out.

By analysing cognitive abilities, emotional intelligence, behaviour, core skills and personality, Cognisess Deep Learn™ helps to match the right people with the right roles for their unique talents and skillset.

Apprenticeships are a great way of addressing skills shortages, and we can help to identify those who will flourish.

Get in touch with us at to find out more about how we can help you to recruit the best apprentices for your business.

Cognisess attends first ever Microsoft Founders’ Summit

For the first time, an international group of founders from 40 Microsoft Accelerator startup alumni came together to share what they’ve learnt. Cognisess CEO, Chris Butt, was part of the 2 day event held at Chicheley Hall, north of London.

Cognisess is an alumus of the scheme, having completed the programme in 2014. The Microsoft Founders’ Summit was an opportunity for founders from London, Paris, Bangalore, Berlin, and Seattle to come together, regardless of product lifecycle stage.

There were presentations on sales and communication techniques, tips on hiring the best talent and working on key company values, and a session on listening and negotiating, with founders also talking about their own experiences.

Chris Butt, CEO said: “Being with founders who are going through the same pain is invaluable and unquantifiable. It really is a marathon and building resilience is part of what makes a successful entrepreneur and business.”

Chris was recently a panellist in the selection process for the next cohort of promising tech entrepreneurs to be part of the Microsoft Accelerator.

A total of 24 companies were in the running to become part of the scheme, which provides the tools, resources, connections, knowledge and expertise to grow a successful company.

Microsoft said: “We are focusing on driving real business impact for the companies we work with so the rigour involved in the selection process in critical.”

Others on the panel included Gonzalo Ruiz, MSFT Accelerator CTO, Erica Young, Partner at Anthemis, Shweta Sharma, MSFT Accelerator Mentor, Gurminder Panesar, Wiggin, and Alec Saunders, Senior Director of MSFT Growth Partners.

For more information on the Microsoft Founders’ Summit, take a look at the Founders’ Summit 2017 Mashup video.

Cognisess attends Mercer’s Future of Work Night in partnership with Bloomberg

Cognisess CEO, Chris Butt, and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer, presented the Cognisess platform and Cognisess Deep Learn™ machine learning engine to senior figures in the recruitment world at Mercer‘s Future of Work Night, in partnership with Bloomberg

The night began with a panel discussion “How will we prepare our businesses for the future?”, followed by six HR tech startups, including Cognisess, presenting their new thinking.

Fiona Dunsire, CEO of Mercer, described Cognisess as “a disruptive recruitment tool for 16-25 year old segment”, while others commented on the work of Cognisess democratising human capital.

Chris at Future of Work NightThe panel included Helen Shan, CFO at Mercer, Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future Research and editor of ‘The Future of Business’, Cy Murray, Global Head of Reward and HR Policy at Apollo Tyres, and David Wood, Radical real-world futurist and Chair of London Futurists.

Chris said: “According to Mercer, 65% current primary children will work in new job types that don’t exist yet – what a stat. Our aim is to better equip students for the jobs of the future, whatever they may be, by focussing on cognitive abilities, emotional intelligence, behaviour and personality rather than previous experience and skills.”

For more information on the Cognisess platform and Cognisess Deep Learn™, visit our press page or contact us at




How do we know our assessments are reliable? A comparison with CANTAB

As part of its Global Cognitive Empathy Study (GCES), the Cognisess Research team, led by Chief Scientific Officer Dr Boris Altemeyer, has been conducting research with a number of UK Universities and Colleges to further confirm the reliability of Cognisess’ assessments by comparing them with the clinically approved CANTAB assessments.

We all want to find the perfect job – a job that captures our full attention and gives us an environment where our values align with our actions. But the perfect job is hard to find. Choice, rather than being an advantage, is one of the biggest obstacles between the ever-elusive perfect job and us.

We can use self-reflection to point us in the right direction, turning inward to think about our passions, what we are good at and what we would like to be good at. A huge number of different factors could be the reason why we’re currently in a particular career. Whether this career is right for us often depends on no more than luck. Clearly then, the right sort of help is needed to allow us to find right job.

Cognisess provides that help and with our assessments you can see just how well you fit certain roles. Our tools highlight what makes you a unique individual, ranging from your personality – how you react in certain situations and to other people – to your general mental ability. However we are only as accurate as our tools, so to further improve these, at the beginning of this year we began an exciting new research project.

What are CANTAB assessments?

In neuropsychological testing, CANTAB assessments (from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery) are one of the most extensively validated tools, with more than 30 years of research investigating their reliability and validity. We are now in the process of comparing how participants perform in the gold standard CANTAB assessments, versus how they perform in our own.

How can we prove the reliability of what we measure?

CANTAB and Cognisess assessments both evaluate cognitive and emotion recognition performance. If a participant performs well in CANTAB, they should perform well in Cognisess. In statistical terms, this is known as convergent validity, or construct validity. Researchers typically determine construct validity by answering a simple question, does the assessment measure what it claims to measure?

Anyone can take part in our research project and to ensure that we collect data that is representative, we are conducting the project with an eclectic group of participants. Those taking part range from college and MBA students to CEOs and other individuals in full time employment, and we are working with Bath College, Bath Spa University, the University of Bath and the University of Exeter to achieve this.

Focussing on our users

The project also allows us to gather valuable user feedback on the Cognisess assessments. In the realm of research, fun and assessments are not typically synonyms. When assessments are designed for recruitment, this further reduces the likelihood that individuals going through the process will enjoy what they are doing. Yet it has become apparent that users really enjoy using the Cognisess system and playing our assessments.

Peter Wills, 18, from Bath College said, “My favourite games were ColourSwitch and MatriX, although I swear that sometimes there was no X to find in MatriX. I really liked comparing my results with my friends and that got me to play the games again, so that I could get a better score.”

Our assessments are short and to the point – which is very popular with our users. As Bath Spa Art Student, Sanket Shrestha said, “I was surprised about how much fun I ended up having and it didn’t feel like a drag.”

By comparing our assessments against the CANTAB battery, we can ensure that neither the brevity nor entertainment of our own assessments detracts from their reliability. We’re seeking to make our assessments as good as they can be without impacting on any of the important aspects of our system that appeal to our users.

If you would like to learn more about the study then get in touch with us at



Brain telemetry: Predicting performance of elite drivers

Cognisess is embarking on ground breaking research with future Formula One stars as part of its mission to reveal the talent and potential of young people. Working with Muse and the Young Racing Driver Academy (YRDA), and combining neuroscience with state of the art technology and big data, Cognisess hopes to uncover the predictors of elite performance.

A world first combination

Cognisess, in collaboration with the Muse designers Interaxon in Canada, has developed the world’s first racing helmet / EEG combination. This allows live streaming of the drivers’ brain waves to the pit crew, which is likely to include psychologists in the future.

Knowing the state of mind of a driver is highly important. It not only affects performance on the track (in terms of lap times and potential risks of accidents), but also how their style of driving wears out materials such as the tyres, suspension, and engine components.

Training the next Lewis Hamilton – one neuron at a time, in real-time

Cognisess is piloting this ground breaking research with the YRDA at Arden to introduce what can be described as ‘brain telemetry’. Using the Muse EEG headset technology, Cognisess has fitted custom built ultra-slim EEG technology into a full-face race helmet, to give real time information on the driver’s state of mind and level of concentration.

Arden will use this technology to complement their driver training programme. This programme has already seen the introduction of live-stream EEG technology in simulator environments and the full integration of the Cognisess platform to monitor performance.

Deep Learn™ in your helmet

Ayrton SimmonsUsing Cognisess’ proprietary Deep Learn™ machine learning system, along with the combination of car telematics, cognitive performance measures from the Cognisess platform, and the ‘brain telemetry’ now being piloted, Cognisess is pioneering a new stage of fully integrated performance measurement and enhancement for elite athletes.

The brain waves transmitted in real-time to the pit crew and race team can be used with Cognisess Deep Learn™ to spot patterns of processing that are not in line with the drivers’ best performance on the given track. They can even highlight changes in mood. This will be highly important in alerting the driver to when an event on the track may have triggered an aggressive decision making strategy. Emotional responses have been known in the past to cause drivers to misjudge risks and even result in crashes.

Predicting driver behaviour before it occurs

Many different technologies have come from Formula One racing, designed to make racing safer and drivers and cars faster. However, these technologies are mostly based around an ‘after the event’ approach, reactive to behaviour. Starting at the very source of human behaviour – the brain – our technology, based on predictive people analytics, has the potential to impact driver behaviour even before it occurs.

Cognisess’ Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer, said: “This brings cutting edge technology into a environment where elite performers can make use of data feedback with a level of detail that has never been possible before. Bringing together Deep Learn™ machine learning, cognitive performance assessments, and real time monitoring in the actual performance setting will allow us to help athletes push the performance benchmarks and reduce risks drastically. I can’t wait for Psychologists being standard members of the race teams.”

Jon Pitts, High Performance coach to elite athletes, commented: “This project represents a new angle on elite sport focusing on the brain as the central driver of performance. It is only possible through the combined cutting edge technology of motor racing and the Cognisess platform, and we can now measure the brain in action and compare this to the telematics data coming from the simulators and cars. Overall it allows us to optimise the learning, skill development and performance of our YRDA and Arden young drivers.

“Today’s F1 cars are doing things almost instantaneously and the driver’s brains are under extreme pressure to process this information. In light of next season’s technical changes intended to make the cars even faster the potential to optimise brain function could be the new advantage in the sport”

For more information on our work in elite sport, contact

To read more about Muse EEG headset technology visit the Muse website, and to find out more about Arden and the Young Racing Driver Academy, visit Arden Motorsport and the YRDA site.