Imagine how much easier life would be if we knew when we were being a jerk or annoying someone with our idle conversation. It's sounds like something out of Star Trek, but this technology is right around the corner.
Rosalind Picard of MIT and Rana el Kaliouby at the University of Cambridge, UK worked together to create two gadgets that read the emotional state of a person.
They created a pair of glasses that uses a rice-sized camera and a card-sized computer to process the expressions of the person in front of you. An LED light inside the glasses flashes red or green to let you know how the person is responding and a headphone gives you verbal feedback.
The pair also worked on another gadget called the jerk-o-meter. This small electronic badge senses the pitch, volume and clip of your voice. This information is sent to a smartphone which tells when you're being a royal jerk.
The researchers renamed the jerk-o-meter to the sociometric badge and adapted the technology to measure persuasiveness in a person's voice. It's being used to help sales people deliver an effective pitch. It's so effective the team claims users can increase their phone sales by 20 per cent. [New Scientist]