Smart Living beyond Smart Cities – Emotion Tracking

By Sairam Bollapragada & Rajesh Mohandas

If we time traveled a few years back and someone told us we would start wearing a chunky, black band on our wrist to monitor how many steps we take, our pulse and few other health stats, we might have been coming straight out of a hi-fi science fiction movie. We are there today and it’s a reality. Couple of years back Pew Trust published a report which found that 69% of adults track themselves. And, 21% use technology to do it. According to Statista, the fitness wearable’s market is expected to have a value of$19 billion USD by 2018.

emotion track

There has been no one definition of stress that everyone accepts, but still everyone acknowledges that we live in stress, one of the thoughts that ran past my mind which triggered to write this blog, can smart cities help stress free living  using technology like Google mind-reading. Maybe we can monitor the thought process and understand patterns of wary thoughts….in old age it is more the feeling of insecurity which causes the stress than anything else. Remember, when we were kids and living in joint family environment any emotion was easily caught by our parents, siblings, cousins, uncles/aunties if not any for sure by grandparents and very soon it was put to rest or given a directional correctness and we used to very soon come back to our normal self. In today’s so called modern day setup where kids live in a nuclear family often brought up either in a day care or under the supervision of a nanny, with both parents working and relatives living in different cities completely disconnected in the so called connected world…

Going beyond families, the corporates and the business are going thru a very different dimension of disruption and want to understand the customers better, what makes the customer more satisfied with their products, with their advertisements and campaigns that will trigger a right emotion to reach the product on the shelf.

Further beyond corporates and families, the healthcare practitioners have clearly understood and articulated often the impact of external forces on our bodies and mind and the way our mind and body reacts to it automatically. This automatic response developed in our ancient ancestors and exists in our genes today as a way to protect us from predators and other threats. Faced with danger, the body kicks into gear, flooding the body with hormones that elevate  palpitations, increase your blood pressure, boost your energy and prepare you to deal with the problem. These days, you’re probably not facing the same threats but similar one. But you probably do confront multiple challenges every day, such as meeting deadlines, paying bills and juggling childcare that make your body react the same way. As a result, your body’s natural alarm system — the “fight or flight” response — may be stuck. That can have serious consequences on your health.

As per the reports published by American Psychological Association 75% of people experience some or the other kind of stress daily, Approximately 1 out of 65 people may experience panic attack , 80% of workers feel stress on the job and nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress.  Alarmingly 91% of adult Australians feel stress in at least one important area of their lives, An estimated 442,000 individuals in Britain, report to experience stress and visit a professional counsellor for help, Approximately 13.7 million working days are lost each year in the UK due to stress factors. Geo political factors are causing a lot of stress in the MENA area and Indian medical association has reported 3 out of 4 people who visit the doctors today have aliments related to stress leading to 40% heart troubles, 44% sleep related disorders and various lifestyle diseases. India is the diabetes capital of the world.

A wearable called Feel takes the collected data and produces visualization on your phone. You can take a look at your whole day in the form of a graph and see when stress levels were peaking and what your mood was at different times. This emotion tracker also gives suggestions about what to do to reduce stress and make yourself happier, as well as provide breathing and meditation exercises to help you calm, down. You can also set long-term emotional well-being goals and receive personalized tips to be healthier and promote positivity.

Technology like feel could adapt to human emotions, using sensors, computer vision and algorithms to correctly identify the likely emotions displayed by individuals… for marketers the emotion tracking technology can enable them to predict how well their marketing assets will do. It enables them to stop campaigns and gives the knowledge to know if a given asset is even good enough to air.

Some IoT devices beyond “Feel” already available in the market can be readily used leveraging BigData for analytics and IoT Platforms to customize applications and right sizing to meet the needs are…

XOX Server and Cloud used by ad-makers or movie makers XOX servers that allow show designers and producers access to the audience’s intimate data. This is processed locally and available through an industry standard API.

The XOX Sensory Wristband system includes specially designed ergonomic wristbands that are worn on the upper wrist. Intimate data is read via a number of wearable biometric sensors.

EyeRis is a Deep learning based vision technology enables everyday devices to understand how we feel, who we are and how we perceive the environment around us. This comes with an emotionally Intelligent vision technology adds a crucial dimension to devices Contextual Awareness to support a better Ambient Intelligence. EmoVu software embeds into the environment passively to accurately identify users, understand their emotions and personalize their individual experiences via intelligent adaptive interfaces

nViso technology can be used both online and offline, it’s a cloud based system which requires no software to be installed – all that is needed is a web browser and a webcam.. 3D Facial Imaging captures and interprets emotions as they are occur, making direct measurement of emotional response easy to implement and highly scalable.

Lightwave, which calls itself an “applied neuroscience platform,” is one of several companies furiously at work creating a new field called emotional economy, focused on sensing and analyzing consumers’ mental states. This is a young start-up but a pioneering bioanalytics technology company, is in the business of tracking how we feel in these micro-moments

Apple in January 2016 bought a San Diego start-up called Emotient, which uses facial-tracking technology to identify people’s feelings while Nelisen bought Boston-based Innerscope, which combines facial-cue recognition with Lightwave-style wearables data

Affectiva is yet another company Capture people’s emotion reactions on mobile devices in real-time, using Afdex to uncover the emotional power of advertisements and media content and promoting a very new dimension of EaaS … (Emotion as a Service) offering.

Emotion tracking combined with sensor analytics is a leading trend today, quite successful with some demos and PoCs and very less practical implementation or case studies to demonstrate readily the large scale acceptance in the commercial market although there are wide verity of use cases available. The push towards Smart cities opens up a commercial opportunity for one and all involved in the pyramid to explore this wonderful feature of Emotional Tracking IoT with analytics to be integrated in every element of smart living beyond smart cites …