Even though, as time goes on, it’s difficult to see exactly where Google Glass will fit into the consumer side of the market, part of us is still glad that the project is in development. Cool and uncool in equal measure, it would seem, it has proven a polarizing topic of debate that every tech fan has, at some point, discussed with their peers. Every so often, an eye-opening development is made in relation to Glass bordering on the bizarre, serving to remind us that we’re dealing with a technology that could significantly alter the way we interact with each other and the world around us, and Emotient has certainly done that with its new Sentiment Analysis app.
As the title suggests, the company’s app tells Glass users how other people are feeling. Currently a prototype, we perhaps shouldn’t be too surprised that it is not designed for the mass market, but rather for corporations who, for example, could use the app to detect how retail customers are feeling. Sentiment Analysis processes facial expressions anonymously, and according to Emotient CEO Ken Denman, there’s apparently "broad applicability for this service to improve the customer experience, particularly in retail."
Most of us are pretty well wrapped up in our digital worlds already, moving around like droids, headphones in, completely engaged with our handheld devices. A "breakdown in communication" is not so much a misunderstanding as a dropped call, and while, the ‘there’s an app for that’ culture already has a stronghold on us, this, you feel, is on quite a new level.
The technology doesn’t, according to Emotient, keep an actual photo of your likely unimpressed face once you’ve finished being served by a spotty Google Glass user, but rather turns your mugshot into a number / score, ranking your state of satisfaction and keeping a log of it.
On the plus side, the days of filling out those satisfaction cards, or being bombarded with emails requesting you appease a company’s arbitrary smiley-or-number-based ranking system should be long gone, although somehow, I don’t think this will be the case.
I’m all for innovation, and am as excited about Glass as the next geek; but this, for me, is just a step too far.
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