All Reviews

Amazon is Building an Emotion Detector and Wait That’s Just a Mood Ring

Clock second hand Clock background

  May 23rd, 2019  By John Puterbaugh

Amazon is apparently working on a new wrist-worn device that can detect human emotion, according to a Thursday Bloomberg report. If you never imagined the world needed a “smart” mood ring, you’re probably not alone.

While Amazon’s emotion detector is still in the works and might never actually go to market, Bloomberg reports it would sync with a smartphone app and has microphones and software that would pick up on how its wearer is feeling based on their voice. Apparently, Amazon can’t tell enough about your emotional state from just looking at your browsing and buying data.

Amazon hasn’t commented on the project, but the Bloomberg report suggested the device and its technology could help the user interact more effectively with people. Amazon is already highly connected in many homes with Alexa and its Echo smart display, so it’s easy to see how additional data from those using Amazon for smart home hookups could be interesting. Imagine you’re having a stressful day, with Amazon’s emotion detector sharing the vibe with Alexa to cue up some smooth jazz, or whatever other music it knows you listen to when cortisol levels creep up.

We’re all for smart products and services that make life smoother and easier, but the long road of innovation is full of awkward and interesting stops along the way …

Smart Toilets

Even toilets can be smart these days. What even makes a toilet smart, you ask (we wondered too)? The Daily Beast just reported on a smart toilet that can detect heart failure while people do what they do on the toilet. The seat is equipped with technology that can determine how people’s blood is flowing through their heart in about 90 seconds of sitting on the toilet. It even accounts for how one’s bowel movements and urination can impact heart rate, blood pressure and respiration.

Smart Forks

Smart Forks have been in the news since at least 2013, with claims they could help people lose weight by vibrating if they start to eat too quickly. While a vibrating fork did force people to eat more slowly, a study published in scientific journal Appetite found no evidence that slower eating corresponded with reduced consumption.

Smart Flip-Flops

Way back in 2017, smart flip-flops made the rounds on the internet after Fast Company wrote about them. How could flip-flops possibly be smart? The sandals had an embedded chip that connected to an app that allowed people to “communicate” with and receive special offers and discounts from the company. For the privilege of wearing smart sandals that essentially enable people to get spammed by a sandal company, owners had to be cool with the company using data that included their email, home address, and other demographic information.

Smart Toasters

Have you ever dropped a bagel in the toaster in the morning, only to forget or wonder about when it’s ready as you go about the morning routine? No? Oh well, there’s a smart toaster for that anyway. Engadget reported in 2017 on a toaster that connects to an app that notifies toast lovers when their bread is soft no more, and allows for remote toast level management. Pair the smart toaster with the smart toilet, and you can get your heart checked and cook breakfast, all while sitting on your porcelain throne.

Rock Speakers

And who could forget one of the great “dumb” item re-imaginings of all time: the outdoor rock speaker. Not smart in the IOT (internet of things) sense, but still … interesting.

Photo Credit: Smith Collection/Gado / Contributor

Magnified: Zooming in on the best of everything

Sign up for our email newsletter, Magnified, where we uncover surprising truths, go behind the scenes of our reviews, and arm you with great dinner party conversation.