Computers will soon know when you’re down in the dumps, says Dell

5 Aug 2014

Dell has begun working towards the development of software which will be able to read the user’s mood by measuring his or her brain activity with a headset, due to be released by 2017.

The company believes the technology could have a range of potential uses both in the home and at the office and has begun working with headset manufacturer Neurosky to develop a headset to use with the software costing €75-€150, according to the BBC.

Neurosky had recently made headlines for the collaboration with start-up company MindRDR, which has been working with Google Glass to turn it from a voice-command device into one that can read the user’s brainwaves instead.

Jai Menon, head of both the project and of Dell’s research division, said the headset could be used in conjunction with gamers, whereby if a computer can tell that the person playing the game is becoming bored, it will make the game more challenging or, likewise, if the gamer is becoming frustrated it could offer hints as to how to get past a certain level.

Menon added the technology hasn’t been perfected just yet and has proven to be right only 50pc of the time. The team, however, is working towards a success rate of 90pc or higher in order to make the product viable on the commercial market.

If the software alone is unable to reach the right success rate, Menon said they are open to including other technology to work in tandem with the headset.

“If an individual device doesn’t give us that accuracy then we will also add additional inputs – a pulse oximeter (to monitor the level of oxygen in a patient’s blood) or ECG (electrocardiogram – a heart rhythm monitor) or other readings, to see if multiple inputs help the software get to the correct value.”

Man at computer image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic