Published: Fri, May 24, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Amazon is working on a device that can read human emotions

Amazon is working on a device that can read human emotions

According to internal documents scanned by Bloomberg, Amazon is working on a voice-activated wrist-worn wearable with a special feature; it will be able to read human emotions. The documents also apparently show how the technology could eventually assist the wearer in interacting more effectively with others.

As with any Lab126 project, there's no telling whether or not the Dylan wearable will ever actually see the light of day.

The project brings together the Alexa software team as well as Lab126, the hardware group behind the Echo smart speaker and other hardware products.

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When Fox News reached out to Amazon for comment on Thursday, a spokesperson said the tech giant "does not comment on rumors or speculation". The company specifically mentioned emotions like "joy, anger, sorrow, sadness, fear, disgust, boredom [and] stress". The patent, made public previous year, suggests Amazon could use knowledge of a user's emotions to recommend products or otherwise tailor responses. A sketch accompanying the patent filing explains that the technology can detect an abnormal emotional condition. The device will work with a smartphone app and is equipped with microphones. The digital assistant, realizing that she has a cold, then asks the woman if she would like a recipe for chicken soup. Amazon documents reviewed by Bloomberg say the wearable device will take advantage of such technology. This patent is for a system that will be able to differentiate between the device wearer's voice and background noise.

Amazon's device ambitions haven't always led to commercial hits, but the success of Alexa has proven capable of powering smart speaker sales. Promising to undercut Apple's AirPods on price, and best it on sound quality, the accessory should support Alexa. Codenamed "Vesta", after the Roman goddess of the hearth, home and family, the bot could be a kind of mobile Alexa, according to people familiar with the project.

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