MIT scientists have combined a biosensor wristband, a special smartphone, and a mirror attached to a computer to create a system that lets its user review the emotional highs and lows of their day or someone else's.
Currently being tested at MIT’s Media Lab is a system called Inside-Out that, true to its name, allows a person to visualize the emotional ups and down of a typical day. There are three main parts to the system: a biosensor embedded into a wristband, a smartphone that records its user’s surroundings and collects the biosensor data, and a one-way mirror in front of a computer with a Kinect sensor. On this mirror, the user can review their day’s events as received by the biosensor and smartphone, using gestures to indicate what they want to see. Inside-Out was presented earlier this year at the IEEE Pervasive Computing and Communication conference.
What’s the Big Idea?
There are many potential benefits to a system that display its user’s emotions in a tangible way, but one particular group — children and adults with autism, and their families — might find it especially valuable. “Because people with autism often struggle to articulate their emotions, Inside-Out could help parents and caregivers keep track of what events elicited a strong emotional response and act accordingly.”