Using Webcam Facial Recognition to Read Emotions

lady-smilingGet ready for the next wave of technology destined to help people with disabilities, namely those with Asperger’s and Autism, despite it not initially being created for this population. It’s a web-based visual interface, a webcam with amazing software if you will, and it’s being brought to life by Sension, a small start-up created by six Stanford students.

What they’ve essentially created is facial recognition software that uses your webcam. The software scans your face using tracking points, and the applications are endless. You can use it to play games in a more interactive and hands-free away, they’re even using it in online education settings, specifically to proctor test taking behavior.  Then there’s the really exciting application — helping people with trouble recognizing facial emotions. Behavioral analysts are absolutely loving this.

If you’re not familiar with people who have Asperger’s or Autism, they have to teach themselves how to recognize when someone is happy, sad, angry — all human emotions.  It can be incredibly difficult to do this.  So what they’re doing with Sension is integrating it into Google Glass — glasses that have a built-in computer. And it’s huge selling point — you can wear them wherever go, and not be tied to a desk.

Now armed with Google Glass with Sension software, people with trouble recognizing emotions can rely on this technology to identify the feelings of whoever they’re talking to.  It will scan the person’s face and within moments flash on the lens the emotion they’re most likely exhibiting. This is a brilliant application. It truly is a miracle for people with these conditions to have technology like this. Watch this video showing it in action

And people with Autism and Asperger’s aren’t the only people disabilities destined to benefit from web-based visual interfaces. People with limited use of their arms will love this technology too, as it allows them to finally use all their facial muscles to control various aspects of the computer, not just be tied to a mouse pointer or voice activation software. Love it.

As it stands, Sension has yet to be made available to the public, but it’s coming soon. You can sign up for updates when it will be available by visiting their site.  Hopefully … it’s months, and not years away (fingers crossed).

Would you use this technology?  What creative ways to use think it could be applied?

Learn more – Sension

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  1. David Miller says:

    This technology could be an amazing asset for online chat and dating sites for disabled people. The potential is boundless for autism and asperger sufferers. I will look forward to seeing how this technology develops.

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