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EETE MAY 2015

THE ORIGINAL PUSH-PULL CONNECTOR LEMO SA - Switzerland Phone: (+41 21) 695 16 00 info@lemo.com More than 75'000 connector combinations The modular design of LEMO products provides more than 75'000 different combinations of connectors with a large choice of contact configurations: High and low voltage Coaxial and triaxial Quadrax Thermocouple Fibre optic Fluidic and pneumatic Hybrid Custom solutions Cable assembly Contact your local partner on www.lemo.com gine Google, but also social networks, and it is capable of twoway conversation in tune with the owner’s mood, so it is much more than just a multimedia servant”, continued Fitzpatrick. EmoSPARK has a conversational engine of more than two million lines of data, the company claims, and every time you chat with EmoSPARK it will learn to develop its own conversational understanding based on past interactions. Even if you were trying to have an argument with the box, it would not get upset but would talk you into a smoother mood. But the whole idea really is to be able to turn-on and off things more easily around the home, or at least more efficiently than with a remote, with upbeat suggestions lined up or playing emotional tricks to lift the user’s mood. In effect, guided by your inputs and past history, the machine will adapt its suggestions and conversation until it can improve your mood and read through a happy face. Now for the “be happy” part, would the EmoSPARK Cube encourage you to have a glass of wine or frantically eat chocolate cake or even take drugs, if from your history, these were perceived as your best mood enhancers? Could users sue the company for being encouraged to please themselves beyond socially accepted norms? “This is a very tricky task, off course we wouldn’t want to encourage illegal or unhealthy behaviours”, commented Fitzpatrick, short of a clear answer. Adding emotional intelligence to fitness tracking devices could definitely encourage users to build a fitness plan and take action to feel better about themselves, but should an electronic device (be it emotionally intelligent) discourage anyone from boredom or even idle time? Just for the sake of collecting “happy points” on your face, wouldn’t this sort of in-house multimedia assistant push you towards more multimedia content consumption or gaming at the expense of unconnected activities such as outdoor sports or off-screen social events? The Cube’s insatiable quest for your happiness won’t stop there. Once a reliable EPG is established, it can also “talk” to other Cubes about its experiences through a specially-designed grid via EmoSHAPE’s servers, enabling Cubes with similar affinities to connect and share media bearing similar emotion tags. More pragmatically, for Fitzpatrick, there is already a number of inanimate objects that people feel close to, such as cars or smartphones, adding emotional artificial intelligence to the interface could make these objects more like friends that can help you do things more naturally. “In the end, it’s all about having a better user experience, but of course it could go much further than that” said Fitzpatrick. In the future, the company could consider licensing its EPU algorithms to smart TV manufacturers or to telecom providers willing to bundle the EmoSPARK Cube with their Wi-Fi hub. Surely they would want to figure out the viewers’ emotional response to the content being served, for adaptive scheduling and content creation (adverts, TV series etc…). Would they figure out that watching TV news is just a horrible experience most of the time? www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe May 2015 11


EETE MAY 2015
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