Microsoft is working on a smartphone that can detect your mood

mood_microsoft_moodscopeOf course, there is nothing better than being in the doldrums and sharing this automatically with the outside world via your smartphone. Recent research by Microsoft brings this functionality a step closer, to the delight of these ‘Sharers Without Frontiers’. It can also share automatically, by the way.

The new technology is called ‘MoodScope’ and is the result of hard work by the Microsoft Research team in Asia, which was first revealed via this article in Australia. In its current set-up, the system is capable of correctly assessing your mood with an accuracy of 66%.

MoodScope is not a new hardware device that will need to find its way to new smartphone models, but a smart hybrid solution between existing sensors in hardware and smart smartware. This software can be set in various different ways, thus increasing or decreasing accuracy.

For instance, a high degree of personalization is possible, so that the software has to be ‘trained’ for a period of two months, but subsequently makes assessments with an accuracy of no less than 93%, while a remix of your personal data with (anonymized) data of other users results in an accuracy of 72%.

Besides a test on smartphones by Microsoft, the team has already developed iOS and Android variants.

Privacy concerns aside, these moods would enhance social networks by allowing users to share mood states automatically. Users would be able to know better how and when to communicate with others.

Although the study often refers to the potential limitations of the MoodScope system, the researchers also identify various possibilities. The ability to serve or even correct users who are under pressure in a bespoke way, for instance.

Despite these limitations and the chance of a lot of headwind, the Microsoft Research team remains positive: “Detecting mood is a vital next step for application context-awareness,” they reveal.