Siemens has unveiled the CX70 EMOTY, a handset that enables people to share emotions with others.
The phone comes with a cover including a bridgeless keypad with ten emotional categories and integrated stroke, press and shake sensors, with which the users’ emotions can be conveyed to animated 3D-characters– Laura, Joey, and Wobble.
The integrated stroke, press and shake sensors identify the intensity of the users’ moods and in turn, the EMOTY character responds and expresses the users’ moods. Together with a text, the conveyed emotion can then be sent as an animation via MMS to all MMS capable mobile phones to be shared with others.
CX70 EMOTY will be sold in Europe and Asia Pacific at the end of this year.
From Textually which also notes that the BBC News has a story on “The future of affection” explaining that if today’s technology is any guide then feelings and emotions are going to play a big part in our future hi-tech world.
This makes me think of the Mobile Feelings project by Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau: their “phone” studied how to communicate via virtual touch over mobile phone networks. The devices integrate pulse sensor, scent/heat sensor and micro-ventilators to transmit data over Bluetooth technology to capture the users’s heartbeat, blood volume pressure and pulse, skin connectivity. The testers reported sensations of intimacy, bodily connection nearly embarrassing when they had to share the experience with total strangers.
(blogged last month.)
I also read about the Touch-Phone project by Affective Computing which explores the use of objects to mediate the emotional exchange in interpersonal communication. Through an abstract visualization of screen-based color changes, a standard telephone was modified to communicate how it is being held and squeezed (couldn’t find any picture, maybe because it remained just a project??)