We've all been part of a conversation where we wish we had stopped talking a few sentences sooner than we did. Researchers from MIT and Cambridge have now developed a pair of glasses that can read the facial expressions of your conversation partner and let you know if your words are hitting their mark, or if you should simply stop in your tracks. Using a miniscule camera to monitor the action, compact computer hardware built into the glasses tracks 24 parts of the human face and infers emotions from this collective data.
In addition to studying facial movements, the futuristic specs are intelligent enough to glean important mood information from factors such as speech pattern, skin moisture, and body language. When the glasses notice that something is amiss, a connected microphone quietly whispers the information into the wearer's ear. Should things get particularly dire, a small red light on the inside of the glasses flashes to indicate that it's time to keep quiet.
The possible applications of such a technology are staggering. Law enforcement officials could use them as a first line of defense against lies and deceit, while retailers might equip their associates with a pair to make sure each sales pitch is perfectly received. The technology is still early, with just prototype versions of the shades now in testing, but should they ever be introduced at a consumer level, they just might make our conversations a tad less awkward.
[Image credit: NewScientist]
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