Dell Research is conducting experiments with brain and body sensors to detect a person's mood for use in computers involved with education and communications.
Jai Menon, Dell's chief research officer, says the experiments at the company's new research division will use a person's brain waves, heart rate, and other body functions to detect when a person is happy, sad, anxious, fearful, or has other feelings. In the future, Menon says this mood input could be channeled to help a teacher know when students are most alert and ready to learn or to help managers better communicate with workers. "There's a lot of potential in daily use. Say I'm in my car and calling somebody and sudden fear is sensed. Well, that fear could drive a call to 9-1-1, for example," he says. "In gaming, the game can become more interesting depending on our moods, and if a device senses trepidation on my opponent's part, then maybe I can beat you now."
Menon says the researchers also want to determine if certain brain activity or other body indicators cause the same moods in a majority of people. However, he cautions, the mood research is in its early stages.
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