Microsoft granted a patent for emotion-sensitive glasses

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Although Google Glass can be considered an unequivocal failure in most regards, Google got one thing right, the basic shape. Although the implementation was botched, the ‘glasses’-shaped wearable is expected to become a popular form in the future.

Adding credence to this idea, Microsoft has been granted a patent for a new wearable device, a pair of glasses that can detect emotions, as reported on VentureBeat. Through advanced facial recognition technology, the device will theoretically be able to detect the user’s emotional response to whatever they are looking at.

Once the response has been detected, context will be added for the given situation. For example, if the device detects a negative response to whatever you are watching on TV, it can pass this information on to help aggregate and curate content to suit your needs in the moment and provide more accurate recommendations.

The device also works in the other direction, helping the user identify the emotional response of whoever they are interacting with, either in a crowd or in a one-to-one situation.

If it ever goes into production, this could potentially be a dream come true for marketing teams around the globe. Given that the average human brain is highly sophisticated in its interpretation of others around it, given that we have evolved as ‘pack’ animals, the utility of this device could potentially be quite limited in its implementation beyond marketing.


Of course there is a further potential use, one that is easily overlooked. This device could act as something of a social crutch for those who have difficulties communicating. Conversation can often be difficult to interpret, especially for many on the Autism spectrum, if such a device could provide cues and help them to adapt, life could potentially become a little easier in some regards for these individuals (of course this is all theoretical).

Expect this tech to hit the likes of the Kinect-enabled Xbox, among other devices, in the far future. Though not confirmed, it is a very strong fit.

What use do you see for this technology? Let us know in the comments below.