Amazon developing an emotion-detecting wearable

Documents reviewed by Bloomberg have revealed the company is developing a wrist-worn gadget that can pick up on users' emotional state from listening to their voice

24May

Amazon is working on a voice-activated wearable device that would be able to recognize human emotions, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The device, which would be worn on the users' wrist, was described as a health and wellness product in internal documents that were reviewed by the publication. The gadget would work with a smartphone app, with microphones that can reportedly pick up on the wearer's emotional state from the sound of their voice. The overall aim is to provide the user with advice on how to interact more effectively with others, Bloomberg said.

The product would be a collaboration between the Alexa software team and Lab 126, Amazon's hardware development group and the brains behind the Fire phone and the Echo speaker.

The tech giant initially filed a patent for a voice software that uses analysis of vocal patterns to establish a user's emotions, which discerns between "joy, anger, sorrow, sadness, fear, disgust, boredom, stress or other emotional states" in 2017.

However, as Bloomberg noted, it is "unclear how far along the project is, or if it will ever become a commercial device".

"Amazon gives teams wide latitude to experiment with products, some of which will never come to market," said the publication. "Work on the project, code-named Dylan, was ongoing recently, according to the documents and the person, who requested anonymity to discuss an internal matter. A beta testing program is underway, this person said, though it's unclear whether the trial includes prototype hardware, the emotion-detecting software or both."

Amazon itself has declined to comment.

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