If you ever wished your smartphone knew more about you and how you’re feeling, Microsoft may have just what you’re looking for. While still in development, Microsoft is researching and developing a mood sensor for smartphones. MoodScope will be a first of its kind smartphone technology that goes beyond physical sensors and instead studies you through your smartphone usage. While no release dates or apps have been revealed yet, MoodScope is likely to be must have for anyone who wants to share exactly how they’re feeling at any time.
* Microsoft released a research paper regarding MoodScope on June 25, 2013.
* The initial study used data collected from 32 participants during a two month period.
* MoodScope isn’t a traditional smartphone sensor. It senses the mental state of the user by logging and analyzing smartphone use.
* The initial accuracy was only 66%, but improved to 93% by the end of study.
* Microsoft is providing developers with a MoodScope API for use in developing “mood-enabled applications.”
* MoodScope analyzes almost everything done on your smartphone including texts, calls, browser history, app usage and more.
* The sensor isn’t designed to just tell you how you feel, but instead share your mood with others. From social networks to individuals. It could even be used to integrate with other services such as streaming music sites to create custom playlists for your mood.
* Microsoft isn’t planning to put MoodScope technology in any smartphones by default, but will incorporate it into apps instead.
* During the study, only iPhones and Android phones were used.
* Even if some users might have concerns about privacy, Microsoft believes MoodScope is the next phase of social sharing and interacting. The idea is to let others know more about the mood behind status updates, text messages and other mobile and online interactions.
* The API is lightweight and should only consume around 20 minutes of battery life per day.
* While the purpose may be to detect mood, other factors could come into play that have no bearing on strict moods. Stress related problems such as looming deadlines or breakups could drastically change a person’s emotions. The problem with MoodScope is it doesn’t necessarily detect emotion, but a general mood that may or may not be correct.
* Even if MoodScope isn’t perfect, Microsoft sees it as the next great thing when translating context based communication.
Apps using MoodScope will likely be available soon as developers seek to offer smartphone users novelty apps for those who love to overshare online. With so much smartphone usage being stored for analysis, privacy issues are definitely a concern, but until users actually start experimenting with apps, the real impact is yet to be seen.