WATCH: The creepy Google Glass app that can sense human emotions

Saqib Shah
September 1, 2014

A new app for Google Glass can measure human emotions by using facial tracking functions.

The new app from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute uses a technology called SHORE (Sophisticated High-speed Object Recognition) to identify emotions such as happiness, anger, sadness and shock. It then projects this information directly on to the wearer’s Google Glass display.

Now, you may be scratching your head as to why you need an app and an expensive piece of kit like Google Glass to figure out how someone is feeling.

Shouldn’t we – as humans – be able to gauge how someone is feeling emotionally through good old-fashioned social interaction?

Well, SHORE is thankfully more complicated than that. Aside from identifying feelings, it can also estimate a person’s age and gender – a feature that Fraunhofer believes will have positive implications for interactive gaming and market research.

Additionally, if there are multiple people in the frame it will apply all those attributes for all of them. And, as we mentioned previously, all that info will appear on your Glass screen (in a retro fashion that harks back to The Terminator).

The team at SHORE claim that as part of their research they exposed the tech to a database of more than 10,000 annotated human faces. As a result, they claim that the app can also help people with disabilities, such as autism. whose emotions are harder to decipher.

That could arguably turn out to be its redeeming function. The rest of us, however, will probably just use it to re-enact The Terminator (we’re guessing).

About the Author

Saqib Shah

Tech/gaming journalist for What Mobile magazine and website. Interests include film, digital media and foreign affairs.

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