EQ Radio may in future be used on your computer or smartphone to detect if you’re happy or sad.
Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have created a device that can read human emotions using wireless signals.
The EQ Radio reads delicate changes in breathing and heart rhythms to figure out if a person is happy, excited, angry or sad.
The device measures heartbeats like an ECG monitor with a margin of error of 0.3 percent. It then analyzes the waveforms within each heartbeat to determine the person’s emotion.
They say it could one day be used by film studios and advertising agencies to gauge audience reaction, in homes to adjust temperature based on mood, or in healthcare.
Project lead Dina Katabi, who co-wrote a paper on the topic with PhD students Mingmin Zhao and Fadel Adib, said “Our work shows that wireless signals can capture information about human behavior that is not always visible to the naked eye.”
“We believe that our results could pave the way for future technologies that could help monitor and diagnose conditions like depression and anxiety.”
The EQ Radio sends wireless signals that bounce off the person’s body. The device’s beat-extraction processes then break the signals into individual heartbeats. It then analyzes the delicate changes in the heartbeat intervals to determine the person’s level of excitement and positive affect.
EQ Radio brags a precision rate of 87 percent in detecting human feelings. Since the device’s algorithm can capture the heartbeat in waveform, it shows promise in helping with non-invasive health monitoring and in diagnostic settings.
MIT’s team plans to present the EQ Radio at a mobile computing conference next month.