Google Glass apps have come a long way since Mountain View’s wearable was first shown to the world. The one developed by Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits can tell the mood of the person you’re talking to, and can provide an estimation of his or her age.
The SHORE app created by Fraunhover IIS is not exactly the first of its kind, despite the claim that it’s “world’s first emotion detection app on Google Glass,” as Emotient’s Glassware that was unveiled a few months ago served a very similar purpose. However, it would be wrong to claim that Fraunhofer IIS stole the idea, as most probably the apps were developed in parallel by their respective creators. On top of that, SHORE has a bit of extra functionality, as it does more than just recognizing if your interlocutor is angry, sad, happy, or surprised.
SHORE is able to discern men from women, and can provide an estimation for their age. The results are not exactly precise, neither when it comes to the mood of the person you’re speaking to (ever heard of fake smiles?), nor when guessing the age, as this value is provided more as a range than an exact number.
The team of researchers that developed this app pointed out that “This opens up an entire spectrum of new smart eyewear applications, including communication aids for people with disorders such as autism, many of whom have difficulty interpreting emotions through facial expressions. By taking advantage of the additional capability to determine someone’s gender or estimate their age, the software could be used in other applications such as interactive games or market research analyses.”
“The foundation of the versatile solution lies in our extensive experience with detection and analysis technologies and a large database for machine learning,” claim the researchers. “The technology is ‘trained’ by accessing a database of more than 10,000 annotated faces. In combination with the structure-based features and learning algorithms, we can train so-called models that boast extremely high recognition rates.”
Needless to say, normal people wouldn’t probably need such an app, as their social skills would help them identify quite easily the mood of their interlocutor. Still, sufferers of Aspergers syndrome or Autism, who have a hard time reading social situations, would benefit a lot from using the SHORE app.
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