Amazon is working on a wearable that can tell how you're feeling
May 25 2019
The new device is created to work with a smartphone app and uses microphones to analyze the wearer's emotional state by the sound of their voice. Eventually the technology could be able to advise the wearer how to interact more effectively with others, the documents show.
Bloomberg reviewed internal Amazon documents and found that Alexa's software team and Amazon's Lab126 hardware team are working on the project together.
Other tech giants like Microsoft, Google and IBM are also developing technologies that can derive the emotional state of humans. In 2014, a group of German scientists were reported to have developed a software for Google Glass which could measure human emotions by analysing their facial expressions, along with detecting the person's age and gender.
The wearable device is created to work with a smartphone app and it has microphones that are connected to the internal software. Bloomberg found out about the device after it obtained internal Amazon documents referencing it. Aside from being a cool/creepy idea, this possible device indicates Amazon's hunger to become a leader in the wearables/voice recognition industry.
Two years ago, Amazon had detailed a similar system that makes use of people's vocal patterns to derive their emotional state and make suitable suggestions.
A diagram in the patent filing says the technology can detect an abnormal emotional condition and shows a sniffling woman telling Alexa she's hungry.
A second patent awarded to Amazon mentions a system that uses techniques to distinguish the wearer's speech from background noises. This wearable device is said to use that technology.
What is clear is that Amazon's Alexa voice assistant has been a key driver in the smart home and with that same smart assistance yet to really take off on the wrist, there's clearly an opportunity for someone to do a much better job of it. The bot has been described by people familiar with the project as kind of a mobile Alexa, and its' prototypes can navigate through homes similar to a self-driving auto.