Affective Diary: Your computer knows you're blue

I visited Stockholm University’s Mobile Life Centre in Kista, Sweden (pronounced Shista, strangely enough) and got a chance to see a few cool research projects that I’ll be posting today and tomorrow. First up we see the Affective Diary, a little project involving a PC-based application and a body sensor that tests galvanic skin response.

As you move through your day, you send and take pictures and send messages over your mobile. These messages and pictures are captured to the system which is connected to a body monitor that tells your pace, using a pedometer, and a galvanic skin response meter. When you’re excited, a little blob on the screen turns red and upright and when you’re relaxed the blob is blue and sleepy. The system allows you to watch a timeline of your blobs allowing you to see when and where you were most excited or agitated and even provides biofeedback.

One tester found that she was most agitated when her son was leaving to go back to Paris. By noting this, she learned she could tell her son she missed him and feel much better after he left instead of holding it in and getting herself upset. It’s a very humanist – and friendly – approach to technology.