E-commerce giant Amazon is reportedly developing a new voice-activated wearable device that can detect human emotions from the sound of your voice.
Bloomberg reports that e-commerce giant Amazon is working on a new voice-activated wearable device designed to recognize human emotions. The gadget is described as a health and wellness product according to internal documents and is a being developed by Amazon and Lab126. Lab126 is the company behind Amazon products such as the company’s Fire phone, Echo smart speaker and Alexa voice software.
The new device is designed to work with a smartphone app and uses microphones to analyze the wearer’s emotional state by the sound of their voice. Internal documents show that at some point in the future, the device could advise users on how to interact with other people. It is currently unknown how much progress has been made on the device or if it will ever be marketed at a consumer level, Amazon regularly allows tech teams to experiment with products which may never make it to market.
Amazon declined to comment on the product when questioned by Bloomberg. Previous patents filed in 2017 showed Amazon’s plans for analyzing users emotions from their vocal pattern. One patent described a system in which vocal recognition software analyses vocal pattern to determine how a user is feeling, detecting emotions such as “joy, anger, sorrow, sadness, fear, disgust, boredom, stress, or other emotional states.” One example of the system’s usage showed a sniffling woman telling her Alexa device that she’s hungry, the assistant then suggested a recipe for chicken soup.
Amazon has filed a number of patents relating to human behavior that may seem worrying to the average person. One patent, which Breitbart News reported in September of 2018, described a system that would place Amazon employees in cages to maintain robots.
— Ted Gioia (@tedgioia) September 11, 2018
Another patent described employee wristbands that would track workers and instruct them on where to go, while managers would be able to monitor their performance based on data from the wristbands.