Applications for Affective Computing
Once the affective computing system has sensed
the user's biosignals and recognized the
patterns inherent in the signals, the system's Understanding
module will assimilate the data into its model of the
user's emotional experience. The system is now capable of communicating
useful information about the user to applications that can use such data.
What do affective computing applications look like? How would they differ
from current software applications?
Perhaps the most fundamental application of affective computing will be
to inform next-generation human interfaces that are able to recognize, and
respond to, the emotional states of their users. Users who are becoming
frustrated or annoyed with using a product would "send out signals"
to the computer, at which point the application might respond in a variety
of ways -- ideally in ways that the user would see as
For example, a computer piano tutor might change its pace and
presentation based upon naturally expressed signals that the user is
interested, bored, confused, or frustrated. A video retrieval system
might help identify not just scenes having a particular actor or
setting, but scenes having a particular emotional content:
fast-forward to the "most exciting" scenes. Your wearable
computer could pay attention to
things that increase your stress, so that it might help you learn
better strategies to boost your immune system when needed, practicing preventive
Beyond this quantum leap in the ability of software applications to respond
with greater sensitivity to the user, the advent of affective computing
will immediately lend itself to a host of applications, a number of which
are described below.