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Your Computer or Smartphone Will Sense If You’re Happy or Sad

Understanding someone else’s emotions can be a difficult task. A smile can conceal frustration, while a poker face might mask a winning hand. But what if technology could tell us how someone is really feeling?

Now MIT professor and project lead Dina Katabi at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed an “EQ-Radio” that can detect a person’s emotions using wireless signals reflecting off a person’s body to measure their behavior. 

By measuring subtle changes in breathing and heart rhythms, EQ-Radio is 87 percent accurate at detecting if a person is excited, happy, angry or sad without on-body sensors. It’s as accurate as an electrocardiogram monitor which measures heartbeats.

Katabi envisions that film studios and ad agencies could test viewers’ reactions in real-time, while smart homes could sense your mood to adjust the heating. She believes that it paves the way for future technologies that could help monitor and diagnose conditions like depression and anxiety.

Katabi says that she will incorporate emotion-detection into her spinoff company Emerald, which makes a device that is aimed at detecting and predicting falls among the elderly.


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