The bracelets and accessories that claim to infer your emotional state have been around for decades. One of the most recognizable, the ring known as Mood ring, which changes colors supposedly based on your mood, was invented in 1975 by two enterprising jewelers in New York who joined a liquid crystal thermometer with quartz stones. However, despite the advances in technology, a truly accurate emotion detector has not been successfully developed or marketed, and this possibility remains in the sights of large and small companies.
But now, it seems that Amazon wants to get involved in that territory by the hand of its intelligent assistant: the company is developing a wearable device that activates with the voice, destined to recognize human emotions. According to Bloomberg, this effort is a collaboration between the voice software team of Alexa and Lab126, the company's arm behind the Echo smart speakers and the Amazon Fire line.
Internal documents mentioned show that the device, which is a kind of bracelet, works with a mobile application and has microphones that can listen to a user's voice to detect their emotional state. According to internal sources, the project is codenamed "Dylan", and is allegedly under development to try to launch beta tests as soon as possible.
This is not a new idea for the sales giant. In a patent filed in 2017, Amazon had already said that this device and the artificial intelligence software that accompanies it may know if the user feels “joy, anger, sadness, fear, disgust, boredom, stress or other emotional states”.
As we said, this wearable will communicate with an application for smart phones and, logically, with Amazon servers. Then, the company uses this knowledge to recommend possible health products, better target its advertising, and give other product recommendations.
If you think it's a good idea, don't get too excited. The report indicates that the official status of the project is not known, and it is not known whether it will ever become a commercial device, since the company gives its teams ample freedom to experiment with products, some of which never arrive to the market. We will keep you informed if it becomes reality.