Engineering Minute

Engineering Minute – Smart Wristband Tracks Wearer’s Emotions

Researchers from the University of Lancaster, in the United Kingdom, have developed a smart wristband that can sense the wearer's emotions. When the wristband detects a certain level of emotional arousal, it changes color allowing the wearer to monitor their emotions without relying on mobile devices. This technology is aimed at helping people with affective disorders, such as anxiety and depression, control their feelings. 

 

“Previous work on this technologies has focused on graphs and abstract visualisations of biosignals, on traditions mobile and desktop interfaces. But we have focused on devices that are wearable and provide not only visual signals but also can be felt through vibration, a tightening feeling or heat sensation without the need to access other programmes – as a result we believe the prototype devices provide real-time rather than historic data,” says co-author Muhammad Umair. 

 

Wrist bands that change colour depending upon the level of emotional arousal allow users to easily see or feel what is happening without having to refer to mobile or desktop devices.
Wrist bands that change color depending upon the level of emotional arousal allow users to easily see or feel what is happening without having to refer to mobile or desktop devices. Credit: University of Lancaster

From the University of Lancaster article: "The researchers worked with thermochromic materials that change colour when heated up, as well as devices that vibrate or squeeze the wrist. Tests of the devices saw participants wearing the prototypes over the course of between eight and 16 hours, reporting between four and eight occasions each when it activated – during events such as playing games, working, having conversations, watching movies, laughing, relaxing and becoming scared.

A skin response sensor picked up changes in arousal – through galvanic skin response, which measures the electrical conductivity of the skin – and represented it through the various prototype designs. Those smart materials which were both instant and constant and which had a physical rather than visual output, were most effective."

 

Read more about smart wristband that tracks the user's emotions at the University of Lancaster

 


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