When has technology gone too far? You can now wirelessly read someone’s emotions through wifi broadband. Dina Katabi: a Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and the director of the MIT Wireless Center, and her crew have made their own piece of equipment that acts as a wifi router for the human body. Through the interactions of the router and a human being, they can tell if you’re happy, sad, angry, or excited.
Katabi reports that the results that the machine spews out are 87 percent correct. Although the results are not 100 percent correct it is still very shocking to see how far our technology has come from being able to read one’s emotions without any wires attached. Dina Katabi acknowledged that the craziest concept of it all is that we are now capable of receiving information of someone’s feelings from a distance or without them even knowing. As technology becomes increasingly integrated into our communication, this ability to translate emotion through the same means could prove to be invaluable in the near future.
The device monitors heart beats and your breathing. These 2 factors are very dependable on your feelings at the time. If you’re depressed, your breathing may decrease, as well as your heartbeat slowing down. This technology may seem a little useless in many situations, but a common situation that Dina mentioned was being in a grocery store. If you are monitored when you enter the market and it detected that you were sad, it could advise you to buy chocolate or ice cream. While it has the potential of becoming yet another advertising tool for commercialism, the health implications could prove worthwhile.
Although the invention of this equipment is impressive, it does have some drawbacks. The scanner could interfere with personal space, while some may use the device on strangers who did not give consent to use the it on them. This is due to the way it monitors human statistics sending wireless waves that reflect off the human body coming back with the varying data depending on how they feel at the time. Dina found a way to get permission from that person in order for it to give you the results. Dina programed the machine to imitate specific positions in order for it to give you the results, to protect the privacy of others.
Dina believes that there is a lot of innovation in the science of emotions or psychiatrist. There is a lot more enhancements that they are working on in order to improve the device’s accuracy.
By: Alex Obrero