I’ve heard of a ‘mood ring’ that reacts to your body’s temperature to change colors, but this is the first time I’ve heard of a ‘mood lamp.’ This is what happens when you hack a lamp from IKEA and turn it into an emotional interaction system that can detect how you feel based on your facial expression. It change colors accordingly. People have been interacting with their technology-infused gadgets for years, but this is the first time an emotional element is introduced, and it’s all done through a webcam.
When you think about it logically, this mood lamp isn’t really picking up on your emotions (although it would be cool if it could). It’s really picking up on the facial expressions that represent certain emotions. In other words, you could be really happy yet put a frown on your face, and the mood lamp would think you were sad. Either way, it’s a fun little piece of tech that could turn out to have some real world applications for people who are unable or unwilling to express their emotions to others in words.
This mood lamp was conceived and created by Vittorio Cuculo. According to Vimeo, “It uses OpenCV for image processing and analysis to identify emotional states through the movement of a face’s fiducial points. The lamp, made with Arduino, changes its color to represent the user’s current emotion.” The analysis is pretty detailed since it even takes into account your chin and eyebrows.
So far, I can think of one group of people that this mood lamp won’t be able to detect correctly. Those are women who have Bitchy Resting Face. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s a disorder that affects millions of women every day. It makes them look like bitches even when they aren’t. It’s just that their natural facial expression makes it look like they are permanently pissed. You can learn more about this here on Funny or Die. I don’t think this mood lamp would be able to detect their emotions, but I’ve digressed. I give this lamp an A for creativity!