“If you are happy and you know it, then clap your hands” is what is normally said. But a group of researchers has tried changing this concept and turned it into an action by one and reaction by another kind of response.
The researcher Max Pfeiffer and his colleagues from the University of Hannover in Germany developed an EEG machine for evoking empathy by triggering an involuntary hand reaction in one individual as per the mood changes in another individual. In order to understand the other person better, the researchers used the muscle stimulation system. This empathy device consists of a machine that can measure the electrical activity changes taking place in the brain, for instance, after watching a movie; these are called as the emotional senders. The other recipient is called the emotional recipient who has electrodes wrapped around his/her arms that help stimulate the muscles to bring about changes in the hand movement as per the emotional sender’s emotions such as sad, surprised, angry, or happy. The gestures detected by the system were similar to the American Sign Language for pleasure, annoyance, and sadness. The movements shown by the hands for expressing the various emotions include sliding of the hand onto the chest, raising an arm, or clenching of the fist. After a detailed study, the researchers were successful in proving their hypothesis of the “ones’ emotion connected to others gestures” for enhancing the understanding between individuals.
This device was mainly developed to help improve the emotional connection between the long-distance relationship people. This system can be useful for the people for staying connected to their loved ones by connecting the device to one’s social media profile. Isn’t the empathy device a new and better means of communicating? It’s thus always good to explore various boundaries using human–computer reaction for the betterment of life.
The researchers plan to present their work at Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Denver in May 2017. They still plan to bring about more advancement to their device, for instance, use the electrodes woven into the clothes.
Stay tuned to get updates on the latest device.