Date Published: 8th September 2015

Emotion Sensitive Technology

A step too far?

Doctors are saying that this new technology could greatly help us understand our emotions, encouraging people to help themselves. It is known that we struggle to read our feelings, and often we don’t know how to act accordingly. Could the solution be technology?

With a small wearable device, it could track and monitor how our mood changes throughout the day – eg. anxious when walking to work, content when eating and happy after exercise. This could help us do more of what makes us happy, and less of what makes us sad and upset. Therefore, increasing our mood overall.

The device is still in development and testing but is said that it picks up signals from the skin, pulse, face and voice. It detects your body’s reactions, and recognises electric signals in the skin. Some devices will measure your heart rate and blood pressure, sensing a change in your mood. There are lots of different technologies involved, with several companies rushing to be the first to release their version of the emotion sensitive technology.

It is said that these sensors will be placed in steering wheels and door handles of cars, in order to detect emotions like anger, in the hope of preventing accidents caused by road rage. However, the current ‘solutions’ include calming music and a voice telling you to take a deep breath, which is said to start playing when the sensors have detected a change in your mood. This is likely to aggravate drivers more, as a common reaction to someone telling you to ‘calm down’ often has the opposite effect.

There are cameras in R and D that will be mounted onto the windshield to detect and analyse facial expressions, is this a breach of privacy?

‘The 21st Century mood ring.’

The uses do not stop there, it could be used in a hospital situation; to track changes in patient’s heart rate and blood pressure, possibly helping to prevent strokes and heart attacks.

What do you think?

Could you benefit from emotion sensitive technology?


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