In May 2021, Patently Apple posted a patent application report covering an Apple patent relating to future eyewear with a bio-sensor system to track health and activity metrics. Apple noted that a sensor system, as part of a tracking system could perform facial feature detection, facial movement detection, facial recognition, eye tracking, user mood detection, user emotion detection, voice detection, etc." While I've viewed the mention of "mood detection and user emotion detection" more like digital voodoo, Apple is apparently taking it very seriously.
According to a new Bloomberg report, "Apple Inc. is working on an artificial intelligence-powered health coaching service and new technology for tracking emotions, its latest attempt to lock in users with health and wellness features.
The new coaching service — codenamed Quartz — is designed to keep users motivated to exercise, improve eating habits and help them sleep better, according to people with knowledge of the project. The idea is to use AI and data from an Apple Watch to make suggestions and create coaching programs tailored to specific users, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the initiatives haven’t been announced yet.
The move is part of a broader health push at the company, which has made such features central to its devices, especially the Apple Watch. Its latest efforts also include an expansion of the health app to the iPad and features that could help users with poor vision.
The service, that is planned for next year, is being driven by several Apple groups, including its health, Siri and AI teams, as well as its services division.
The initial version of the emotion tracker will let users log their mood, answer questions about their day and compare the results over time. But in the future, Apple is hoping the iPhone could use algorithms to determine a user’s mood via their speech, what words they’ve typed and other data on their devices.
Mark Gurman, reporting for Bloomberg added that "Apple is planning to extend the health push by bringing a basic form of blood-pressure monitoring to its watch in the next few years." Coincidentally, Apple was granted a patent today about a blood pressure monitoring device that could take on the form of an Apple Watch band. The patent is a little more detailed and covers a wider range of features than what Gurman forecasts in his latest report. Playing it safe, Gurman notes that "The service is planned for next year, but could ultimately be canceled or postponed.
On the surface, tracking emotions or moods sounds both flakey and creepy unless there's a deeper connection to users health like monitoring emotional states related to Schizophrenia or other mental disorders.
I personally wouldn't ever want an app or Apple's headset sensor system interpreting my every facial or eye movement and sending me notices on how to correct my mental state. Then again, perhaps you see it differently. Send in your comments on this below or on our Twitter feed.