Thanks to the Affective Computing Research Group, ambiguous and often troublesome emails could be a thing of the past, if its plan for emotion measurement technology (EMT) reaches fruition.
The group is working on computers that are able to read and interpret facial expressions, through tracking the main feature points of the eyes, nose and mouth.
Though this facial recognition works with existing web cam technology, the future for it lies in the successful development of wearable technology, able to detect fluctuations in body temperature, measure sweat levels and so on.
The fast-paced development and investigations taking place into graphene could well deliver such tech in just a matter of years.
According to one of the researchers on the project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rana El Kaliouby, it is something that could easily enter the mainstream of communications:
“Emotion measurement technology will be soon ubiquitous…”
Whilst it will help poorly constructed emails deliver a message as intended, rather than offend or confuse, there are far wider reaching potential achievements.
Commercially, it could deliver real benefits for the hapless online marketer.
It could allow far more precise campaigns to be created for example. These could even include real time promotions and revolutionise the concept of crowdsourcing to gain a measure on the effectiveness of adverts.
The opportunities for society go further than financial gain though.
In the medical field, EMT could propel research into autism and other mental illnesses significantly, whilst the accuracy of remote diagnoses, an increasingly vital service in some parts of the world, could be dramatically improved.