In this talk a novel system we designed that allows users to reflect upon their moods while doing desktop computing activities and other daily events will be described. We surveyed potential users of such a system to see what they remembered about their mood swings and behavioral patterns emotionally over time, and it was clear that they felt they did not have a good handle on this after even 48 hours. We then built AffectAura to help users track their moods, and tested our system on six users over a week of time. The results were promising. Users found interesting patterns in the data and gave us great feedback on how to evolve the user interface visualization for real time feedback on emotional reactions, mood swings and activities. Now we are building systems and applications that perform mood detection in real time using mobile technology. We are exploring novel user interface ideas to help users reflect on and manage their affective experiences. Many questions remain from our work on AffectAura, in terms of how useful a system like this would be over the long term and how valuable a mobile tracking system might be in real time (especially given the likelihood of misclassifications). In addition, we also are interested in user interface “intervention” styles that can be used when negative or disruptive emotions are detected, whether in a car, at the desktop, or while mobile. Finally, we feel there is a huge opportunity in the remote familial space, or in a close social network, where knowing about the emotional health of separated loved ones or close friends comes in to play. These new research areas are tightly coupled to privacy issues. A few examples of applications in some of these new areas will be presented.
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