Six impossible things before breakfast.

A library science student's perspective on life, the universe, and everything.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Emotional smartphones

Samsung is experimenting with new mobile technology that uses variables like typing speed, backspace use, and device vibrations to measure the emotionality of the user. The concept is still in an early phase of development (currently it functions at just 67.5 percent accuracy) but Samsung sees a future for this new technology with applications in Twitter use, contact lists, and customer service. In one proposed application, people in an online social network would be able "to view symbols alongside tweets that indicate that person's emotional state." In addition to alerting your friends to a potential bad mood, Samsung creators suggest the program could be used to try to lighten a user's troubled emotional state by showing them a funny cartoon.

While the privacy implications of this technology are obvious: negative feelings might not be the thing you want broadcasted to the rest of the Internet, and the reliability of such programs still seem rather dubious (67.5% is failing afterall), anytime you start to mix something so inherently human like emotions with machines, I can't help but be impressed (and eerily reminded of the cylons of Battlestar Galactica.)

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