Tuesday 24 July 2012

New RIM patent hints at emotive texts

We text when we're happy, we text when we're sad, and we send messages when we're furious and also when anxious. Such messages may not always convey the exact state of mind of the sender to the receipient of the text. Research in Motion (RIM) may be working on a system, which if successful, will allow users to share their emotions via text. The patent for this dated January 14, 2011 was reportedly filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  A newly seen patent application, reportedly gave it away that the Canadian company may be working on a system that helps the receiver determine the sender's emotional state. A brief introduction of the patent, on the website reads, "An emotional context of text entered into the messaging application is determined and an implied emotional text is presented for at least a portion of the entered text in accordance with the determined emotional context. The emotional context may be determined from captured sensor data captured by one or more sensors."

The patent application refers to the use of sensors such as an accelerometer, front camera, pressure sensor, and Galvanic skin response sensors that may help record biometric data of a user. This includes details such as the user's blood pressure, heart rate, muscle control, shaking, facial expressions, et al. These details will help determine the emotional state of the user at the time of sending the message. In addition, sensors such as accelerometers, tilt sensors, movement sensors, magnetometers, and gyroscopes may be used to gather data about the usage of the mobile device, to gauge the emotional state of the sender of the text. True, there are emoticons to express pleasure, sadness, frustration, anger. But there aren't just as many emoticons as there are emotions. Hence, a technology like this is interesting in concept. At the moment, however there is no telling if this technology will see the light of day.

The Canadian company has not been doing very well recently. News mills gathered momentum when the company announced a delay in the launch of their BB 10 OS. Reports that followed indicated that the company may run out cash and fail eventually, despite the launch of the BB 10 platform.

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