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Tech update: Mobile mood management

In the near future, it will be possible to monitor people’s moods with technologies such as mobile phones, tablets and wearable sensors.

Dr Mary Czerwinski will arrive in Australia next month

Dr Mary Czerwinski, manager of the Visualization and Interaction (VIBE) Research Group at Microsoft Research in the USA, will be visiting the University of Sydney next month to deliver the Sydney Ideas talk Emotion Tracking and Interventions for Memory, Health and Awareness.

The application of this technology within an events and business tourism context is that planners will be able to test, monitor and map delegates’, guests’ and visitors’ emotional reactions throughout an experience in order to better understand what triggers emotional peaks and troughs.  

Czerwinski said, “At the moment we are conducting tests that either have users wear physiological sensors and/or have them self-rate their emotional states throughout the day.

“Based on these signals and various contextual cues, for example, what is on your calendar, your GPS location, how close you are to home or work, etc we can model the user’s mood.

“We can then choose how to personalise interventions on a person’s phone, which can help improve their ability to manage fluctuating moods.”

In her talk Czerwinski will also discuss the positive computing role of social media.

Czerwinski said, “We were inspired by what people already do today on their phones.

“For instance, the top phone applications tend to be things like Facebook, Pinterest, interactive games, news or music.

“Since people like to be involved in these activities anyway, we thought we would infuse these applications with some psychological motivation. So our application would encourage you to go to Facebook, but might also suggest that you think of three pleasant experiences you have had on your timeline, as an example. People tended to like this idea.

“We also are interested in intervention styles that can be used when negative or disruptive emotions are detected, whether in a car, at the desktop, or otherwise”.

This Sydney Ideas lecture is co-presented by Associate Professor Rafael Calvo positive computing expert in Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies and the Charles Perkins Centre.

What: Sydney Ideas talk Emotion Tracking and Interventions for Memory, Health and Awareness.

When: 6 to 7.30pm, Tuesday 11 February 2014

Where: Law School LT 026, Sydney Law School, Eastern Avenue, The University of Sydney

Cost: Free. Register here