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Feeling Mad? New Devices Can Sense Your Mood and Tell--or Even Text--Others

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A women holding a headset that can monitor the wearer's mood.

Microsoft Research is developing technology that monitors a person's mood and stress level.

Credit: Ubergizmo

Microsoft Research cognitive psychologist Mary Czerwinski is an affective computing expert who creates technology that monitors a person's mood and stress level.

For example, Czerwinski and her colleagues, including Microsoft senior research designer Asta Roseway, developed a butterfly-shaped set of wires called Mood Wings that attaches to a sensor wristband and beats at a rate corresponding to the wearer's stress level. The team also created a jacket with bendable, wired "leaves" that flap when the wearer is happy, or elevate in the back when the user is angry.

Czerwinski says the technology could especially benefit users with communication difficulties, such as individuals with autism or post-traumatic stress disorder, by alerting family members about emotional states.

To help parents of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder respond constructively to challenging situations, Czerwinski and her colleagues created a wrist sensor that sends signals of parental stress to a network, which responds with text messages that suggest helpful behaviors. Another tool tracks a person's mood throughout a day at work using a wristband, chair sensors, facial-recognition technology, and voice recorders, revealing micro-patterns that might not otherwise be apparent.

"In the future, we may not even see the sensors we're wearing," Roseway says. "It'll be integrated into our person."

From The Washington Post
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