There have been other smartphone mood apps created, but none that take it to the limit like the Emotion Sense app that has been released to the public, for free. Developed in part as a research tool, the Emotion Sense app, which has been likened to having a therapist in your pocket, not only senses your emotions, but then correlates and cross-references that input with how you interact with your phone throughout the day.
For example, perhaps you make more calls when you are depressed or, conversely, perhaps you make more calls when you are happy. Maybe you text more frequently when tired compared to making calls when you are upbeat.
Explains Dr. Jason Rentfrow, one of the principals on the Emotion Sense project, which was developed at Cambridge, “Most other attempts at software like this are coarse-grained in terms of their view of what a feeling is. Many just look at emotions in terms of feeling happy, sad, angry or neutral. The aim here is to use a more flexible approach, to collect data that shows how moods vary between people. That is something which we think is quite unique to the system we have designed.”
To start, the app has you fill out short surveys about your moods based on the time of day. As time goes by, and you add more information, the app integrates your responses with the data that it captures from your phone’s other input data (calls, texts, etc.).
“This helps us understand both how a person perceives things and how they are actually behaving,” says Dr. Neal Lathia, another member of the research and development team.
Adds Lathia, “They may say that they are feeling happy but they may have stopped communicating with friends, for example. This is all about building a bridge between the two sources of data.”
Emotion Sense is currently available only for Android phones. You can download Emotion Sense here.
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