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Expression Glasses

Jocelyn Scheirer

The Expression Glasses are a wearable device that allows any viewer to see a graphical display of a subset of the wearer's facial expressions. Currently, the glasses are capable of learning an individual's patterns and discriminating between confusion and interest expressions. Through two small pieces of piezoelectric film imbedded in the frames, the muscle movement in the corrugator and frontalis (eyebrow) muscles is measured and translated to a full-color visual display.

The display allows a viewer to visualize confusion expressions of the wearer of the glasses by watching changes in a moving bargraph (red for confusion, green for interest).

The Expression Glasses in use. The cloth portion above the plastic conceals both EMG sensors and the user's facial expression, enabling the user to express emotion freely and anonymously.

There are many reasons why the wearer or his audience may want to have access to expressed emotions. For Human-to-Self purposes, this might include practice session feedback for certain professions (such as counseling), where individuals are trained specifically to refrain from expressing negativity. For Human-to-Human communication, a device like this would be helpful in allowing a video lecturer access to the confusion or interest level of her students in a remote location, providing a "barometer" of collective emotional expression. Since current technology tends to inhibit access to individual facial expressions when lecturing via videoconferencing, use of a device like the glasses gives students an opportunity to communicate information about their experience to the instructor. Additionally, the anonymous nature of the glasses allows individual students to express their emotions without necessarily being forced to identify themselves.