Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Measuring Emotions

Hi folks,

It's been quite a while since I have posted on here. I have been terribly busy with work, SCHOOL and other duties that I have here in the big city (and other places). So let's have at it.

 Quite recently Affectiva, a group of MIT collaborators, has come out with an amazing little device. It is able to measure some emotional responses. It is called the Q Sensor. How can such a device be able to measure something subjective like emotional responses?

Well first off, it comes in wrist band form. Thus, it is constantly touching your skin. The skin has many mechanisms for many different types of emotional stressors. For example, when you are nervous, you start to secrete sweat. When one is excited or stressed, there is a slight electro-gradient that is created. This can be measured by the Q Sensor! It is the change in charges on your skin that the sensor picks up on. 

This device has many features, like being able to be hooked-up to a computer (via USB). There is a button on the device to mark times of significant events (like giving a presentation). 3-dimensional motion sensors to monitor how you move, and enough storage to keep logs for up to 4 months of events.

This is great for many Health Care professionals. Care givers can prevent stressors on their patients by monitoring the activities the Q Sensor picks up on. Preventing major stressors will help prevent some forms of cardiac arrest and other ailments. Once we know what stresses a person, we can help them calm down by doing other activities (meditation comes to mind). It can also help monitor sleeping patterns. The data can help understand when people with sleeping disorders are awakened and figure out how or why this event occurs.

This device will help with the understanding of some emotional responses. I believe these types of devices will help with  further explanations of ideas in consciousness.

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