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Surprising Science

Emotionally Sensitive Computers

With the emergence of new tools that can measure a person’s biological state, computer interfaces are starting to take users’ feelings into account, helping the user to focus.

Computers could be a lot more useful if they paid attention to how you felt. Kay Stanney, owner of Design Interactive, an engineering and consulting firm that works with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Office of Naval Research, says that a lot of information about a user’s mental and physiological state can be measured, and that this data can help computers cater to that user’s needs. Design Interactive is prototyping Next Generation Interactive Systems, or NexIS, a system that will place biological sensors on soldiers.


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