Emo smart homes know to pop the kettle on when you’re sad

By Kitty Knowles 12 October 2016

A smart home that knows how you feel, and can play your favourite song if you're feeling blue.

Sometimes after a long gruelling day, all you want is a bit of emotional TLC, and in the future your smart home could help with that.

Emotional recognition technology will soon mean your house can function according to your mood: if it senses you’re sad, it could cosy down the lights, and line up your favourite Netflix show.

One the other hand, if it senses anxiety it might play your favourite chill-out track or pop the kettle on for a calming peppermint brew.

Your emo home

All this will be made possible by small, silent monitors that are already being developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

These use radio waves and algorithms to detect your personal disposition, and prompt your smart devices to react.

Researchers say that their so-called EQ-Radio devices can measure your heartbeat and breathing patterns to read whether you’re excited, angry, sad or happy, with 87% accuracy.

Smaller than a wifi router, these do this by analysing low-frequency radio waves that bounce off your body, and can already work to a range of several metres.

Helping us stay healthy

The technology will also be able to reach far beyond our emotional wellbeing.

The in-built sensors could, for example, be used to monitor discharged patients from the comfort of their own homes.

What’s more, they could alert emergency staff if your elderly relative has an accident at home, or if you experience a heart attack or heart failure.

When you think of the different ways our biometric information can talk with different connected devices, the possibilities are endless.

Personally, I’d programme my smart home to know when I’m in need of a hot bath – with bubbles.

What would you ask from yours?

Read more: Gold-digging hackers will seize your smart home heating

Read more: Saving smart homes from the gutter

Read more: Build your own smart home with the Philips Hue Go