A START-UP business in Southampton is using artificial intelligence to help online shoppers find the perfect products without giving up control of their personal data.

BOON has been showcasing its technology at CES 2021, the international consumer electronics show which has been taking place this week online.

BOON’s creators say more than 90 per cent of consumers want better control of their data. This presents a challenge for product recommendation technology based on tracking people’s web activity.

Founders Dylan Grey and Mike Oakley developed a new recommendation engine, which engages users in anonymous data collection through “fun, image-based questions”, developed with the use of psychology research.

The technology was in development for more than a year and was taken up by retailers for integration into their websites.

BOON says its recommendation engine helped thousands of shoppers choose the best gifts in the run-up to Christmas.

The questions only take a minute to complete, making it a quicker and more painless process than scrolling through product listings, its creators say.

Mr Grey, BOON’s chief executive, said: “We believe it’s important to give people control of their data, but also know that consumers want more personalised, seamless experiences.

“Our psychology-based approach means we can offer privacy and deliver market-leading recommendations and personalisation.

“Demand for this kind of fun and personal experience has been accelerated by the rise in online shopping due to the Covid.

“We really see it as a win-win for retailers and consumers: retailers increase their sales dramatically through the technology and consumers have a great, unique experience as they shop,” he added.

Shoppers can replace any of their recommendations to curate a list of top picks.

BOON’s AI continuously learns and improves from anonymous, so each subsequent shopper should get a better experience and better recommendations.

BOON has been exhibiting at CES 2021 with support from Future Worlds, the University of Southampton’s start-up accelerator.