The Future of Affective Computing

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What if a wearable device could tell you when you need to step back from the keyboard and take a break before you respond to an email? Or if you could wear a device that showed you stress levels before you start talking about bills? For those who suffer from hypertension, PTSD, or autism, this information can help apply metrics to an important facet of health. These are just some of the ideas researchers are thinking about in the VIBE group (Visualization and Interaction for Business and Entertainment) within Microsoft Research. 

AffectAura is a desktop program that streams several inputs from the user to determine an affective state. Another project called MoodWings applies this type of data to a physical talisman, like a butterfly on your wrist. While you may not know something is getting you worked up, your MoodWings butterfly will let you know by increasing wing speed. 

Mary Czerwinski, Asta Roseway, and Paul Johns show us some of the research projects they are working in the VIBE group. 




The Discussion

  • User profile image

    You don't always see a psychologist and an artist working together.

    I love seeing what Microsoft Research is working on. I am glad Microsoft has such a robust program for research.

    Your at the stage where Babbage was with his first computer. His first computer was clunky and mechanical. It was the size of several large refrigerators. A person actually had to crank it to get it to work. Now we have computers that fit in the palm of our hand. I think this kind of thing has potential to take off.

    I see the day when ill be walking down the street and I get splashed from a puddle by a passing car. Ill get really upset, frustrated and then sad. My shirt will turn on and say to me, "do you want to talk about it?" I see a fad some day with baseball caps. Some guy will be in a bar, see an attractive girl. He gets excited and then a fan of peacock feathers fan out behind his head.

    I never new any one was working on things like this. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  • User profile image


    Yup, because there's nothing more sane than having a conversation with your t-shirt about you getting wet by a passing car.

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