A lot of progress is being made with Google Glass and recently, we have been hearing news regarding Samsung coming up with their own Galaxy Glass as well.
However, with most of the companies focusing on what the users can be shown by using these glasses, a Japanese researcher came up with the idea of what the people around the user see when they look at him/her. Professor Hirotaka Osawa has come up with a computer generated eye animation spectacle, which is being called the Cyborg Glass.
The key idea is to replace the user’s eyes with the animated ones that are capable of conveying feelings to those who are around the user. This will help the user to simulate reactions, emotional, even when the user is distracted or busy. Professor further told that he was inspired into creating this emotional cyborg by an American sociologist who came up with the phrase; ‘Emotional labor’ for the facial expressions and body movement to convey feelings.
According to Prof. Osawa, such a gadget could be required by people who are required to work in an environment where social interaction is crucial and intense. For instance; nurses, teachers, nurses, therapists etc. According to Prof. Osawa; ‘Our developed society requires workers to behave more socially. AgencyGlass aims to support such kinds of emotional labor by extending users’ social abilities with technology, just as robots already support our physical labors and computers support our mental activity.’
Facial recognition Software is employed to control the animated eyes’ gaze towards those who are looking at the user. The glasses come with two OLED screens which are controlled via Bluetooth from a PC/Smartphone. Moving on to the glasses; they come equipped with gyrometer and accelerometer, which are located on one arm of the glasses (these sensors will help in monitoring the user’s behavior) and a battery has been added to other arm, which is used to power up the gadget. The animated eyes will respond to the head movements that are made by the user, such as; they will blink when you nod, will blink several times when you shake the head, inclining of head results in eyes looking upwards. In case of detecting that someone is gazing at the user, the animated eyes will direct their gaze back at that person.
The professor is concerned about how odd the glasses look and doesn’t expect them to go to market for sale but rather hopes that this could be use as a foundation to build upon. According to Dr. Nadia Berthouze, University College London’s reader in Affective interaction and Computing, these glasses could be used to help with the people from different cultures in understanding each others’ emotional states. She said; ‘The equipment could be developed to become a facial-display translator between two cultures where facial expressions are different. If you ask: ‘Would someone buy the glasses the way they look now?’ The answer, I’m sure, is no. The eyes are too funny. “But the idea could be explored.’
Prof Osawa said; ‘an earlier study suggests that the human mouth is more effective at influencing [the way people interpret] emotion than human eyes in Western culture’ and he hopes to work with this concept to explore more options. Check out the youtube video below for more: