November 24, 2015
Working In Boston Tech: Affectiva


Today, in our Working In Boston Tech series, we hear from the team at Affectiva!  Affectiva, an MIT Media Lab spin-off, brings emotional intelligence to the digital world. Its industry leading, patented technology measures and analyzes facial expressions of emotion in real time. Over 1,400 brands, including Unilever, Kellogg's MARS and CBS, use Affectiva's technology to understand consumer emotional engagement with digital content.  Affectiva's technology is also applied to emotion-enable digital apps and experiences to become more interactive and responsive to our emotional state. 

What is it like to work at Affectiva in terms of your culture?  

We are passionate about bringing emotional intelligence to the digital world. Emotions influence all aspects of our lives, but are missing from the digital world.  We are on a mission to realize a healthier and more productive world where technology can sense emotions and adapt to them. 

It’s a fast-paced environment. We are constantly rolling out new functionality, exploring new use cases and markets, pushing the boundaries of innovation – achieving something that has never been done before: digitizing human emotion on a global scale.

Despite working in the fast lane, we don’t take ourselves too seriously.  We are a laid back group of people, love working together and having fun.  We value flexible and family-friendly schedules. Employees are able to work fairly independently, without being micro-managed.


What’s the best way to get a job at Affectiva? 

Get an introduction by an Affectiva employee or simply see our openings on and apply.  We are looking for exceptional folks to join our team, and are hiring now!

What can someone expect during the interview process?

You will have a chance to meet a lot of team members and discuss cool technology. We want to hear your ideas about how you think we can make a difference to the world.  We’ll share with you our strategy and vision for the future.  We are looking for the top performers, but are especially looking for people who are as passionate about our technology as we are.

What can people expect over the course of their career at Affectiva? 

Every day you work on cutting edge technology: we are designing the future. You will have amazing opportunities to work on things you find interesting. You get to make decisions, you can come up with great ideas and just go ahead and execute them.  You get to work with a fantastic team and will have plenty of opportunity to advance your career.  If you choose, you get to work with clients and partners, and evangelize our technology, at events and on stage.  We have a strategic patent portfolio – anyone, regardless of their role, can submit ideas for patents, recently an employee in marketing was named on a patent application.

Are there any favorite activities that the employees do outside of the office?  

Talk about how cool our technology is, and show off our demo app to friends and family – great conversation starter at a party!   We like to go bowling and we like to eat.  Friday afternoon is “Scotch-o-clock”. Thankfully there is a gym next door.

Are there any fun facts or unique stories that you can share about Affectiva or individuals that work there? 

We get an insane amount of media coverage. It is so cool to see the technology we work on get this kind of exposure, and you too can have your 15 minutes of fame – many team members have been on TV or have been mentioned in the press.

In addition to our office in Waltham, MA, we also have team members in Louisiana, California and Cairo, Egypt.

Our co-founder, Dr. Rana el Kaliouby did a TED Talk that got more than a million views.

Our original location, coincidentally enough, was on Moody Street.


What TV or movie would best describe the working environment and employees at Affectiva?

The Fast and the Furious. That’s how we develop technology.

Do you have any unique benefits or perks? 

  • Unlimited vacation time.  We just don’t track it, we emphasize performance.
  • You get to take on projects you would like to do – even if they fall outside of your “job description”.
  • Game room.
  • Free snacks and beverages.
  • Espresso machine.
  • Beer Fridge.
  • Bagel Friday.
  • We have robots that you can drive with facial expressions.
  • We test emotion-enabled video games.
  • Did we say cool technology?

What’s on tap or in your fridge?

Beer. Leftovers because we always order in too much lunch.  Organic milk, fruit and snacks. Soda and a selection of candy and treats.