A house that knows when you’re happy and sad

Auger Loizeau, in collaboration with Reyer Zwiggelaar and Bashar Al-Rjoub, describe their smart-home project Happylife. It monitors facial expressions and movements to estimate a family’s mood, displayed via four glowing orbs on the wall, one for each member.

We built a visual display linked to the thermal image camera. This employs facial recognition to differentiate between members of the family. Each member has one rotary dial and one RGB LED display effectively acting like emotional barometers. These show current state and predicted state, the predicted state being based on years of accumulated statistical data.

They also include a few quite beautiful vignettes from a family that has Happylife in their home. While there are no concrete metrics or instructions on how to read the displays, the family does draw some kind of emotional insights and sometimes finds comfort in the glow:

It was that time of the year. All of the Happylife prediction dials had spun anti-clockwise, like barometers reacting to an incoming storm. we lost David 4 years ago and the system was anticipating our coming sadness. We found this strangely comforting.

The irony here is that despite being called Happylife, the vignettes are actually kind of depressing, as are the cold, blue glowing orbs. And in The Veldt by Ray Bradbury, a story from the anthology that this project draws inspiration from, a new technology called the “Happylife home” is introduced. The parents are killed by virtual deadly lions. Coincidentally, that’s last on my list of ways I want to die.

[via]

6 Comments

Favorites

Causes of Death

There are many ways to die. Cancer. Infection. Mental. External. This is how different groups of people died over the past 10 years, visualized by age.

Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.

Divorce Rates for Different Groups

We know when people usually get married. We know who never marries. Finally, it’s time to look at the other side: divorce and remarriage.