The engineers assembling our brave new world of virtual reality already know how to track your head movements, your arm movements, even your eye movements.
Now an ambitious start-up company in Britain wants to raise the stakes by tracking your very emotions.
The faceteq system -- from the Brighton-based company Emteq -- builds on a number of previously deployed technologies to bring emotion recognition into the realm of virtual reality. It works like this: Miniaturized sensors on the inside of a VR headset (like the Oculus Rift, pictured above) read electrical signals coming off your face and skull. The system also tracks heart rate and eye movements.
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Those electrical signals coming off your skin indicate the movement of particular facial muscles. Those muscle movements, in turn, can be mapped to particular emotions -- you use different muscle combinations when you smile, or frown, or furrow your brow, or express surprise. This kind of emotion tracking has been done before, but previously has required electrodes directly on the skin or complex external cameras.
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