How are you feeling? Well, now there’s an app for that question. Actually, it’s not an app, but rather an API (Application Program Interface) that is being developed by a company named SensAura, based in Montreal, Quebec. The concept of the product is pretty simple to describe, but complex in its execution. The idea is that the SensAura engine will take data from any supported wearable Health Tech device and report on the wearer’s emotional state.
I got a chance to speak with some of the company representatives at CES 2015, and learn more about their program. They call it “real time emotion recognition” and their system is independent of the data source. They primarily rely on heart rate and galvanic skin response (GSR) data, though the more types of data available, the more accurate the results will be. Their system relies on a large database that correlates various biometric measurements with emotional states. They take the wearer’s data and compare it to the database to determine the most likely emotional state at that moment.
SensAura is only creating the API, not an end-user product. Their intent is to have developers license their system, and create apps that will use the emotional information either as an end itself, or to help drive other functions of their product. For example, a streaming music app could alter the choice of songs in response to the user’s changing emotional state. The company representatives also see possible application for the treatment of depression, or for tracking the moods of elderly subjects.
If their system proves to work effectively, it could add a new dimension to what we can do with the data generated by the “quantified self” and could unlock a whole new range of benefits.