Cyborg eyes to help the world fake emotions

Too tired to care? Science can help you go through the motions

We’ve entertained you with a lot of Google Glass news, but a Japanese researcher has a different take on what a pair of intelligent glasses can do - in this case, fake emotional reactions.

Think ‘fake eyes’ that don’t help you see but help you control what other people see when they look at or, well, into your eyes. Professor Hirotaka Osawa’s special glasses will generate ‘eye animations’ instead of transparent lenses.

Why the window display? The professor says that the animations will simulate actual emotional reactions for when the user is too busy. You could even take a nap while your glasses help you feign interest in the matter at hand.

Emotional cyborgs

This was all inspired by the idea of an ‘emotional cyborg’ designed to carry out ‘emotional labour’ - facial expressions and body movements that convey feelings.

Certain professions are dependant on this ‘emotional labour’ — waitresses, teachers, therapists — and the glasses will help to make lighter work of the process.
Professor Osawa told the BBC that society currently requires workers to behave more socially and the kit, which he calls AgencyGlass, aims to support emotional labour with technology.

“Robots already support our physical labours and computers support our mental activity,” he said, so why not emotional labour, then?

The glasses are made from two OLED screens which are controlled by a smartphone or PC. They’re hooked up via a Bluetooth wireless connection and also connected to a camera to take readings.

Gyrometer and accelerometer sensors are also attached on one side as monitors, while a battery is on the other side to power the device.

A nod will have the glasses blink, while shaking your head will cause the eyes blink, and inclining your head will make the eyes look up. With facial recognition software, the eyes will detect if someone is looking at them and then gaze back.

Cool or creepy? We just can’t decide.

[Source: BBC News]

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