The interaction between man and machine has always had an air of convenience – you tap and your device’s touchscreen gives you options; you rotate the throttle and your motorcycle accelerates. However, we daresay, this is the first time we have come across a man-machine interaction which has valid emotional quotient. We are talking about the ‘Mood Lamp’, a hacked lamp mechanism that remarkably changes color depending on your personal mood. Contrived by Vittorio Cuculo, the hacked lamp in question is actually a RGB Ikea lamp, which has been tweaked with an Arduino Duemilanove microcontroller. The result is a scope by which your facial expressions can be mapped to some markers through a webcam, matched to a particular color, which is then finally displayed by the lamp.
This scope entails the use of OpenCV programming toolkit, which processes the image and also recognizes your facial expression. The parameters used for such recognition include minute details like the position of your chin, eyebrows and the relative movement of your eyes and lips.
So, overall the Mood Lamp is surely a fun technology to use. However, the novelty of the conception might also have some practical uses. For example, the lamp can pose as a ‘lighthearted’ emotion emanating device for people who have trouble making their feelings known to their partners. More importantly, the Mood Lamp can communicate your sense of privacy to other people, when you need some time alone with your thoughts.
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