Recently, Amazon disclosed that it was working on a new wearable device that can read human emotions. Read on to know more about it…
Recently, Amazon revealed that it was working on a new wearable device which is voice-activated and a wrist-worn gadget. The wrist-worn gadget is described as a health and wellness product and is a collaboration between Lab126, the hardware development group behind Amazon’s Fire phone and Echo smart speaker, and the Alexa voice software team.
The unifying thread to all of Amazon’s hardware efforts right now is to build out an ecosystem of Alexa-capable devices, with the rumored robot making Alexa more mobile and the alleged emotion-sensing wearable giving the voice assistant access to a whole new dimension of user awareness.
Amazon is currently working on the concept of wearable device which may be a smartwatch that can sense how the person wearing it is feeling based on the person’s voice and react accordingly. It could be an improvement on the feature found in Apple Watch which can sense if a person is going to suffer a heart attack and can warn the wearer to reach the closest hospital.
But again it’s just the state of the wearer’s health. In other words, Amazon is working on its wearable making assessment of the human being’s emotional state. Some of these emotional states can be joy, anger, sorrow, sadness, fear, disgust, boredom or stress. Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa will be the medium that will read the voice of the user and the technology now developed will be able to help it understand if the person is in one of these emotional states.
However, all these developments is still at the laboratory level, Amazon’s Lab 126 and the software team that works on Alexa is also collaborating in the work.
Some of the challenges faced by Amazon is that it does not have smartphone of its own or an operating system like Android or iOS to test various technologies it develops on a massive scale. Again, the wearable device will have to be coupled with a smartphone for the various features to be fully exploited. The Alexa software and a tiny microphone attached to the wearable will be enabled to sense the voice of the wearer and conclude that he or she is going through a particular emotional state. Going ahead, the device may be developed to include certain suggestions being offered by Alexa to the user to react suitably.
Achieving an accurate, or at least generally reliable, picture of a person’s emotional state, however, still seems like a hugely ambitious undertaking. This is definitely one of those things that hasn’t yet been done because of how hard it is to do.
The Road Ahead
Amazon already holds patents for several of these futuristic technologies — the question however is how much of these can be successfully implemented on a commercial scale and be deployed in the market. There are other technology companies too, like Google, IBM and Microsoft working on machines reading human emotions. It may be some time before these developments emerge with more muscle and clarity.