We’ve all felt awkward in a social situation, correct? At least, maybe we think we were being awkward or anxious, but weren’t quite sure.
Researches from MIT think they have developed technology that will tell measure a user’s level of awkwardness in any sort of social setting. They feel it can used as sort of “personal social coach,” as described by team member Tuka Al Hanai. She said, “Imagine if, at the end of a conversation, you could rewind it and see the moments when the people around you felt the most anxious. Our work is a step in this direction, suggesting that we may not be that far away from a world where people can have an intelligence social coach right in their pocket – a judgmental, objective, personal social coach.”
The wristband like device works by using sensor to measure a person’s heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and movement. It also can evaluate the pitch, energy levels and vocabulary of the user’s conversation by analyzing how much they pause, fidget and touch their face.
The team hopes that one day the device will not only accurately measure the user’s behaviour, but the behaviours of the people they are interacting with. Al Hanai added, “Our next step is to improve the algorithm so that it is more accurate at calling out boring, tense, and excited moments, rather than just labelling interactions as positive or negative.”