Project in collaboration with Penny Webb. The aim of this project was to create a physiological connection to the Internet using galvanic skin response (GSR) and heart rate (ECG) to detect emotion levels of users. This works in conjunction with information retrieval software to convey real-time messages of a similar emotional state back to an independent device, separate from a computer screen, and personalisable by the touch of the user.
As the use of skin-conductance measurement provides a relatively superficial reading of emotional state, this prototype can only respond to stimulated states, but at its core, the concept pertains to a human requirement of psychological connectivity. Knowing that you are not alone. This is something the internet can provide, but could live separately from our existing understanding of a computer screen.
My role in this project was developing galvanic skin response hardware and information retrieval software. For this I used an simple micontroller to read out from the GSR electrodes. From this readout a scale of emotion was defined, according to this scale a dictionary of key words was created. A software crawls through Twitter and Facebook feeds, finding the most recent occurence of the keyword. The result is a display of those sentences on an LCD screen, allowing user to visualize similar emotional states.