Cognitive watch

Imagine. You have a nifty little gadget on your wrist.

It reads your temperature, blood pressure, sweat, electro-something, can listen carefully and recognize your voice, it is aware of your surroundings…

That's the amount of data a Garmin sport tracker gets from 1 run.

That’s the amount of data a Garmin sport tracker gets from 1 run.

— Looks like a perfect medical personal assistant?
— No, that’s exactly what a lie detector is.

Such device can not only tell that you are lying, but also a vast array of your emotions from pain and fear to anger or joy.

And it does all of this even before recording what you are saying and putting it into context (which it could also totally do!)

And where do we go from here?


For example we can make reminders when we are not aware of ourselves. Getting angry and quarreling too intensely? Fighting with our loved ones?

Buzz on the wrist and a message: “Hey man, chill out. May be it’s time to step back?”

Alas, anybody can quickly adapt and snooze it like an annoying alarm clock on a hangover.

May be we can train ourselves like Pavlov his dogs! Give positive and negative feedback on our feelings. Do you want your anger to burn your hands for real? Or is it too much?

Of course there could be tons of useful and less bizarre implementations. Safe driving, mood playlists or even chat status change if you are that open to your close ones or anyone. You can trigger different events with your feelings and emotions:

  • Get that really annoying task done when you are exactly in the mood.
  • Measure how you react to music and form life changing soundtracks.
  • When you are hurting someone or yourself, you can be reminded or distracted. For example by a call or music.
  • If you are an addict and something stressful going on let your sponsor/partner know.
  • Or even change your news feed or facebook feed according to your mood, or shape your mood with it
  • Find out how your friends make you feel when you are reading them online or even in real life.
  • Let your wife/husband know if you are coming back home in a bad mood, without telling.
  • Even set alarms on emotions of your loved ones, be happy when they are, wherever you are.
  • Cope with your fears and anxieties.

With such device we can send our emotions and feelings into the machine, and machines can study us in their turn.

I wonder if that would work and we really can change our behavior faster and better with a help of some technology, become a better versions of ourselves. Through measurement, control and feedback. Give a powerful cognitive behavior therapy tool to everyone and make it useful.

Cognitive therapy is based on the cognitive model, which states that thoughts, feelings and behavior are all connected, and that individuals can move toward overcoming difficulties and meeting their goals by identifying and changing unhelpful or inaccurate thinking, problematic behavior, and distressing emotional responses.

Source: Wikipedia / Judith S. Beck

Right now wearable devices are already tested for cognitive therapy among drug addicts. Here, take a look.

And I’m pretty sure that’s just a tip of an iceberg. And Google together with Apple are aware of this.

You can make 2 stories out of this.

Sweet utopia in the style of Her movie. All websites and services would know and recognize you as a human being. You can use your feelings and emotions to communicate with them. And they will grow and learn how to be more like humans.

Or a painful dystopia, like that Black mirror episode with an eye gadget that could record everything you see. Such technology will be exploited. And not only to make more money on you, but also by strangers and friends. “Why are you not sharing your emotional status with me? What’s wrong?!”

And as we tell ourselves these stories we are shaping our future and it will be everything at once.