What if a personal computer knew how its user is feeling?
That computer on your desk is just your helper. But soon it may become a very close friend. Now it sends your e-mails, links you to the Web, does your computations, and pays your bills. Soon it could warn you when youre talking too much at a meeting, if scientists at Sandia National Laboratories Advanced Concepts Group have their way. Or it could alert others in your group to be attentive when you have something important to say.
Aided by tiny sensors and transmitters called a PAL (Personal Assistance Link) your machine (with your permission) will become an anthroscope - an investigator of your up-to-the-moment vital signs, says Sandia project manager Peter Merkle. It will monitor your perspiration and heartbeat, read your facial expressions and head motions, analyze your voice tones, and correlate these to keep you informed with a running account of how you are feeling - something you may be ignoring - instead of waiting passively for your factual questions. It also will transmit this information to others in your group so that everyone can work together more effectively.
Neal Singer | Sandia
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