Emotion Recognition Technology on the iPhone?
iPhone users: Blue Finger, Inc., a South Korean development company, has released a new iPhone app that reads facial expressions from photos (as well as in real time, if you purchase the full version.) The app scans the faces and gives you one of 12 answers: happiness, excitement, anger, joy, worry, loneliness, tiredness, sadness, “poker-face,” surprise, boredom, and “no-idea.”
Although technology capable of emotion recognition has been in development, the scientific validity of the answers the app comes up with is questionable. For one, feelings such as fatigue, loneliness, and boredom are not expressed the same way universally, so it would not be possible to develop an algorithm that correctly detects such feelings for every individual person. While happiness and anger are expressed universally all over the world, it is doubtful that a tiny iPhone app is powerful enough to detect these emotions in real time.
We played around with the app in the office, taking photos of ourselves making various expressions and seeing what Mind Scan would come up with. It felt as though the answers it gave us were at random.
For example, an obviously disgusted expression was read as one of surprise, and a big smile was read as tiredness. The app doesn’t seem to cater to those who would care too much about the science behind facial expressions, but the readings were way too far-fetched to even be entertaining.
Looking at the reviews from the iTunes App Store, it seems as though a good amount of people have had fun with the app, and it has a 3 out of 5 star rating. However, most people who gave Mind Scan a positive rating stated that it is definitely a novelty app and should not be taken seriously.
Are you an iPhone user? Do you think you will download the Mind Scan Camera App?
For more information, as well as a video about the app, click here.