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Thomas Christy, a Computer Science PhD student at Bangor University is hoping to bring reality a system that will enable computers to read and interpret our emotions and moods in real time.

“I am particularly interested in developing a real-time “mood sensing” device. It will combine already existing biometric detection devices into a lightweight portable system that will be able to perceive and indicate a person’s mood and level of stress and anxiety,” said Tom.

“One of the main driving forces behind our project is simplicity. We would like to build an inexpensive and portable device. We have already acquired several EEG headsets; these are routinely manufactured and offered as exciting novel accessories for computer games. The pulse reader and the skin-conductance detector will be incorporated in an “emotional mouse” which will take the signals subtly, while the user is playing a game of just using the computer mouse.

“At this stage we were able to collect signals from the three modalities and run a small pilot experiment to distinguish between pleasant and unpleasant state of mind.”

“The results were promising but it is too early to declare success.” The potential uses are numerous. A system like this may be used to detect stress in people working in hostile environments or carrying out highly intense and demanding tasks. It may also be applicable in evaluating consumer preferences on subconscious level, without conducting interviews.

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