Psychcentral  (Source:
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed a device that can detect a person’s emotions using wireless signals. “EQ-Radio” is a device designed to measure subtle changes in breathing and heart rhythms to accurately detect whether a person is excited, happy, or sad.

Perhaps when you were younger, you had a tendency to reveal “too much” of your emotions. Or quite possibly, you may have had a difficult time showing your true feelings. Maybe you can even recall a time when you had to struggle to correctly “read” the emotions of another person which may have led to a particularly “awkward” social situation. But as you got older, you learned to conceal rather than reveal, and the poker face became the mask you wore to hide the emotions buried beneath the surface.
The ability to understand and read the emotions of people can often be a challenging and somewhat frustrating task. In fact, we depend on this ability to be able to determine our reactions and regulate our responses to social situations. Yet, despite our marginal attempts at being able to reliably interpret the emotions of others, it’s been more art than science.
Until now…

Photo Source: Jason Dorfman, MIT CSAIL

A team of researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory  (CSAIL) developed a device called “E-Radio” which can wirelessly detect and read emotions with 87 percent accuracy. Building on the previous work from Dina Katabi, the lead researcher, EQ Radio uses RF signals to recognize emotions by monitoring physiological signals (e.g. heartbeat and breathing) that change depending on our emotional state. The team claims that EQ Radio can wirelessly measure heartbeats within .03 margin of error compared to the precision of a regular ECG monitor device, but without the use of cumbersome electrodes or other body sensors placed on the skin. Their white paper provides details about the results of their experiments with 30 participants, collecting over 130,000 heart beats.

EQ Radio uses an algorithm that breaks down signals such as heartbeat and breathing that are beamed towards a person and bounce back to a wireless receiver. By measuring changes in the intervals between the returning signals, researchers can determine individual’s level of emotional arousal and whether they are experiencing positive or negative feelings. The algorithm matches the data according to preset emotional states such as happy, sad, excited, or angry.
   Watch YouTube video for EQ-Radio demo.

The use of wireless technology to accurately measure emotions opens the possibility of exploring a wide range of applications, particularly related to consumer and health behaviors. Consumer marketing companies can use this technology to detect emotions during TV and film screenings, while “smart homes” can adjust lighting or other environmental controls based on the mood of the residents. Doctors can this device to help detect potential health conditions such as arrhythmia, as well as monitor patients with depression, anxiety or other mood disorders. The possibilities seem endless.
But wait…do these potential applications also open the door to some privacy issues? Do we want a future where our emotions can be “detected” and read with or without our consent like text on a screen? Perhaps there is something mildly comforting about being able to keep our emotions to ourselves, and not have them revealed to anyone within a wireless range.
Well I suppose that’s the next step in our emotional evolution. We’ve gone from EQ (emotional quotient) to EI (emotional intelligence) and now ET (emotional technology). So how do you feel now – happy, sad, excited, angry? Well perhaps EQ Radio can help us figure it out. 

Source: Psychcentral

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