Mood-Detecting Sensor Could Help Machines Respond to Emotions

Emotions can be detected remotely using a device that emits wireless signals to help it measure heartbeat and breathing, say researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

The new device, named “EQ-Radio,” is 87 percent accurate at detecting whether a person is excited, happy, angry or sad—all without on-body sensors or facial-recognition software.

“We picture EQ-Radio being used in entertainment, consumer behavior, and healthcare,” says the study’s lead researcher, Mingmin Zhao. “For example,” says Zhao, a graduate student, “smart homes could use information about your emotions to adjust the music or even suggest that you get some fresh air if you’ve been sad for a few days.” Zhao adds that remote emotion monitoring could eventually be used to diagnose or track conditions like depression and anxiety.”

Zhao and study co-authors Dina Katabi and Fadel Adib will present their work in October at the Association of Computing Machinery’s International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom) in New York.

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