Smartphone app that claims to beat stress and can monitor the user"s emotional state

Smartphone app that claims to beat stress and can monitor the user's emotional stateIt works out size of nearby crowds to detect potentially stressful situationsUser’s emotional state is then monitored through their use of language

PUBLISHED:

02:50 GMT, 26 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:50 GMT, 26 March 2013


Brain

The app works out the size of nearby crowds to detect situations where a user might get stressed

Smartphone users will be able to lead a happier life thanks to a new app designed to beat stress.

The Android Remote Sensing app (AIRS), developed at Cambridge University, analyses a person’s location, weather, noise levels, calendar events, emails, texts and calls.

It can even work out the size of nearby crowds to detect situations where a user might get stressed.

The user’s emotional state is then monitored through their use of language and punctuation in communications such as messages and emails.

Physiological reactions can also be measured with ECG or heart rate sensors.

The app combines all the components to warn users when they may be entering a stressful situation.

Users are invited to suspend e-mails, messages and calls at peak points of stress to reduce the pressure on the phone’s owner.

Dr Dirk Trossen, technical manager of the project at Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory, said: “This kind of assisted living though mobile technologies is in its infancy, but it is essential that solutions adapt to people, not the other way around.

'Systems should enhance lives and help involve individuals in the information that is having an impact on them every minute.

'By steering people to become self-aware of stress and activity management, systems such as AIRS may be able to help people before they develop health problems in later life, when costly treatments are required with limited success.

'The time before prescribed medicine is critical in prevention and cutting costs for health services.

Scientists hope that developing the new game will mean that anyone with a smart phone can help them analyse scientific data

The user’s emotional state is then
monitored through their use of language and punctuation in
communications such as messages and emails

'This requires close monitoring and awareness of lifestyle on the part of individuals – so if the ubiquitous phone in your pocket can also assist with better living in general it’s a win/win situation.

'The platform gives people the opportunity to step outside their lives and analyse in-depth contextual data from their day to day existence.

'It is an important chance for serious reflection on aspects of daily life that are impacting lives without them even realising.”

Because of the intimate nature of the data used by the app, all personal data is wiped if a phone is stolen and unlocked.

The project is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board with the app due to be released later this year.