So, now no need to mount any type of sensor in the body, without the use of cameras, a research team at MIT’s CSAIL lab have developed a WiFi device called ‘EQ-Radio’ able to detect our basic internal emotional states: happiness, sadness, excitement or anger. The system is not based on any facial recognition software or body sensors. What it does, simply it capture the complex changes in each person, which will help to capture information such as heart rate, breathing, among others. Mingmin Zhao, the co-author of the study, says that EQ-Radio is able to detect the minute movement associated with nervousness and heart rate. The MIT researchers have used a learning algorithm to detect physical states that are associated with each emotion and pooled after a study with 30 participants and analyze 130,000 heartbeats. The margin of error detected is 0.3%. “The whole thing started by trying to understand how we can extract information about people’s emotions and health in general using something that’s completely passive—does not require people to wear anything on their body or have to express things themselves actively,” says Prof. Dina Katabi, who conducted the research along with graduate students Mingmin Zhao and Fadel Adib. During the research, scientists asked volunteers to evocate particular emotions by simply remembering the past or made by submitting photographs or background music. Then the system makes an analysis of the signal provided by the body of a person, regardless of external objects in the room. From there, it is possible to establish a correlation between breathing and heartbeat of a subject. EQ-Radio uses 1,000 times less energy than the WiFi, although the same carrier frequency. According to researchers, this system could be integrated within hotkeys of the router. This video shows how MIT works.

This technology could be useful for filmmakers and advertisers, since it would allow them to detect how the public reacts to watch a movie or to a game, as we hinted earlier. The device EQ-Radio could also be integrated into a smart home to detect possible illumination settings to the needs of its inhabitants, or in the health field to assess the welfare of patients. All this should have the approval of persons wishing to have their ’emotional privacy’ is known.