June 25, 2014 AT 3:00 am

Wristband Tracks Emotions Watching Flicks #WearableWednesday

xoxAt a recent “Feel the Reel” event in Cannes, visitors were in for a bit of a surprise when they received wristbands, according to CNET.  The bands were part of Saatchi & Saatchi’s New Directors’ Showcase, which placed an emphasis on gathering emotional responses to movies. The bands did indeed collect responses and allowed viewers to see them as well.

That data was fed into a computer-art display that showed the entire audience its reaction to each episode in the video. On the wristband LEDs, a spectrum running from blue through green, red, and then magenta signified greater levels of arousal.

The magic is in the XOX Sensory Wristband, created by Studio XO, which is part of their emotional technology platform.

“We’re breaking down the fourth wall,” the barrier that ordinarily separates the audience from what’s happening on stage, said Studio XO co-founder Nancy Tilbury.

It may be breaking down the fourth wall, but will it place another wall? With the sense of surveillance already high, it seems like this is another opportunity to be watched. People don’t mind sharing their emotions in a closed focus group, but would they want to broadcast their feelings in a public space? Would these feelings be broadcast through social media? These are the questions that surely are being asked.

For now, there is a huge interest in the product, as most industries revolve around selling products, but what are the future possibilites?  Could it be used as a measurement for partner compatibility/matchmaking.  Tilbury offers her potential uses.

“Today, we know where we’re taking photos, but we don’t know how we feel,” Tilbury said. “The medium-term application of this technology is to use it in closed environments like stadiums and cinemas. The longer-term is aim is much more interesting: to add a sensor layer to your life. You come home at the end of the day and you see a map of how you were feeling in different locations. You learn about your own human biological patterns, not just how many steps you took or calories you burned.”

It’s true, as humans we are separated from nature every day, and we are losing our awareness of our feelings. Technology is partially to blame, but it can also help bring back our awareness. That’s what makes sensors so exciting. Will this be an aid or another hindrance to deal with at the end of the night? That’s for you to decide. In the meantime, you can start looking at some DIY methods of gathering biometrics, like one of our Heart Rate Badges. Watch your heart go pitter patter and don’t forget to send us a pic.

flora_two-heart-rate-badges


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