MIT Researchers Create Device That Reads Human Emotions Using Wireless Signals

Posted: Sep 21 2016, 7:25am CDT | by , Updated: Sep 21 2016, 7:29am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

MIT Researchers Create Device that Reads Human Emotions Using Wireless Signals
Credit: Jason Dorfman/MIT CSAIL

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The device, named EQ-Radio,use radio waves to detect whether someone is happy, angry or sad.

Judging someone else’s emotions through his/her facial expressions is quite difficult because facial expressions are generally considered unreliable and they do not always reflect what is happening inside.

Now, MIT researchers have found an effective way to sense the actual feelings of a person. They have developed a device that uses radio waves to identify whether a person is sad, happy, angry or excited. The device, named EQ-Radio, recognizes emotions through subtle changes in breathing and heartbeat even without placing any sensor on body. The device is claimed to be 87 percent accurate in detecting a person’s true emotions.

EQ-Radio has been primarily designed to understand consumer behavior and health care industry and also has the potential to change the way existing technology works. For instance, it can tell when you are depressed and need to go outside to get some fresh air.

Our work shows that wireless signals can capture information about human behavior that is not always visible to the naked eye,” said MIT professor and project leader Dina Katabi.

“We believe that our results could pave the way for future technologies that could help monitor and diagnose conditions like depression and anxiety.”

EQ-Radio is different from conventional sensors which are needed to be attached to a part of body for measuring a physical property. The MIT device, on the other hand, is wireless and can be place anywhere in the room. The device sends radio waves that reflect off of a person’s body and return to the device with true feelings. Small variations in heartbeat and breathing reflect mood, behavior and overall good spirit of a person.

Co-author Zhao.Mingmin says. “Just by knowing how people breathe and how their hearts beat in different emotional states, we can look at a random person’s heartbeat and reliably detect their emotions.”

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