Computerised gadgets that can sense our moods may one day fly out of the realms of sci-fi movies and into our living rooms. In fact, an emotionally sensitive computer already exists.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology?s Media Lab are developing computers that can ?read? a person?s mind by examining their body language. According to Alex Pentland, academic head of the Media Lab, the project is built around making machines aware of people.
The Media Lab has created computer systems that use biorhythmic sensors attached to a human body and small cameras to record movement and facial gestures. These are compiled to create a person?s emotional profile. Among the projects under development using the technology is an ?effective tutor? which can sense a student?s concentration levels and monitor when boredom or frustration sets in.
The technology, however, is still in experimental stages and several years away from being commercially available. Mood sensitive computers are not the first off-the-wall creations to come out of MIT and previous projects include intelligent clothes and trainers that can store contact numbers.
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