The brain-reading Emotiv Epoq headset might not be wowing gamers, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more unusual uses it can be put to. Robert Oschler – who we’ve already seen remotely-controlling his Rovio using brainwaves – has now turned to video navigation using emotions. He’s used various apps to train the Emotiv headset to index video according to emotion, which he can subsequently browse through according to how he felt at the time he saw the footage.
Video demo after the cut
First, he had to train the headset, watching episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway to teach it to recognize happiness, clips of the BP oil spill for sadness, various highly-charged talkshows for anger and then tornado and wild animal attacks for fear. That built up a series of emo-profiles in the app EmoRate, which could then be used to recognize emotions expressed while watching other footage.
“Imagine a search engine where what you were feeling at the time played a pivotal role at what search results were returned. For example, a frightened cancer patient looking for help sees a list of hospices and support groups while a curious graduate student is presented with a list of the latest research papers on chemotherapy techniques. Instead of either of them having to guess what keywords are the most relevant, their PC is sensing their emotions and altering the results based on what other searchers with similar feelings found useful during their searches.” Robert Oschler
Of course, all of this isn’t much use on a grander scale until more people train the system and content providers start indexing their media with emotional prompts. Still, if you’ve ever wished a horror film would change over to the Cartoon Network because it’s too frightening, but you’re simply too scared to come out from behind the couch and retrieve the remote control, the days of brain-reading HDTVs can’t come too soon.