Dell Creates Mood Reading Software

Dell’s research and development division has said that they have created software that should be able to read our moods as soon as 2017.

Dell are trying headsets made by Neurosky and other manufacturers that cost between £60 and £120 to see if they can accurately gauge the mood of the wearer. A London based company recently paired a Neurosky headset with a Google Glass allowing the user to take a picture by just thinking about it.

Moods are far more complicated than taking picture though, pictures are basically taken using an ON or OFF switch there is no in between, there are no other states and you either want the picture or you don’t, this is relatively simple. Sad, happy, hungry, bored, tired, upset, the list goes on. Scientists believe these moods will be far harder to gauge as they can change quickly, can mix with other emotions and are generally harder to detect. To try and make the headsets more accurate, the scientists are going to add a pulse oximeter, a device to monitor the level of oxygen in the blood, or an ECG monitor, a device to measure heart rhythm.

Today brain-monitoring is already being used by people with severe disabilities to control wheelchairs and computers with their thought, but this mood reading software could extend the possibilities. In the office, the software could detect when the user is bored, and suggest taking a break. Alternatively it could detect when the user is feeling motivated and direct incoming calls and emails so that it does not distract the user. For the gamer it could be used to detect when a level isn’t challenging enough, and increase the difficulty automatically or if the user is stuck could offer a hint to help them out.

If all the experiments are successful Dell are hoping that they should be able to release something within a 3 year time frame.

Thanks to BBC for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Neurosky.


Berkeley Research Found A Way To Replace Passwords With ‘Passthoughts’

Researchers at UC Berkeley have found a way to replace passwords which typically uses a combination of mixed- cases and numbers with passthoughts. In short, you’re thought process or “will” can be used as an authentication method.

The method involves using a biometric identifier to scan your brain activity and use it as an authentication method, similar to using DNA or blood vessels as they’re unique. Since brainwaves are also unique and can be used to identify an individual, it can used to log into a computer or to prove your identity.

The Berkeley researchers were able to do this by using a $100 worth electroencephalogram made a company called Neurosky. The device looks like a Bluetooth headset but comes with an electrode that rests on your forehead. This devices transmit the brain pattern from the brain’s left frontal lobe to a nearby system assigned to collect this data.

The best part is that according to their research, there was only 1% error rates and its easily comparable to clinical EEGs which typically uses 32 to 256 electrodes over the head. As one could imagine these will obvious cost a lot more than $100. So on the bright side, the only cost involved is the initial investment $100, but accuracy of the collection of the brainwave equivalent as clinical devices and good enough to use it for authentication purposes.

There are certain issues that come with the biometric authentication method. The EEG device that costs $100 is bulky as one won’t really imagine to be seen wearing this in public. There would be a device which has electrodes with skin colour. Once the accuracy is improved, not only these EGG units can be used for smartphones with Bluetooth headsets, but also for corporate systems as the only part involves is simply wearing the device.

Source: Extreme Tech