The designers at Philips have been busy "emotionising" their products, what with the cuddly Aurea TVs, and their emotional reactive jewellery. Now they have got designs on the humble pen, with a patented invention for a writing implement that actually records the mood of the writer while they're writing stuff. Its finger contact sensors detect give-aways like heartbeat, skin temperature and the pressure you exert on pen and paper, which it then uses to actually morph the look of the ink stroke:
While a biro may be a fantastic at scribbling notes, Philips thinks that they can actually increase your self-expression with this device. By processing data from the skin sensors, the pen switches flow from different ink canisters and uses actuators to modify the pen nib, allowing for different colours, stroke widths, styles and even ink flow continuity (presumably for that scratched-out-blobby desperate note to loved ones).
Since your emotions are given away by things like skin conductivity and heartbeat—after all, that's how lie detectors work—this idea may one day end up as reality. Future documents of historical note may yet be signed with such a pen, giving away how nervy the signatories are and "Dear John" letters may never be the same again. I can't wait for the keyboard version.[Philips Patent via New Scientist]