Affectiva: Emotions Can Now be Measured

Latest innovation from startup Affectiva expands on groundbreaking sensing research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The feelings-sensing applications by the company were presented by Affectiva co-founder and MIT professor Rosalind Picard at Web 2.0 Expo which ended on Thursday in San Francisco.

Picard said, “Feelings are complicated.  Now, we can begin to measure them and learn.”  The latest technology enables computers which power websites to scan web camera imagery for facial expressions, eye movements, and actions that give clues to emotional reactions to anything from film scenes to game action or ads.

Affectiva Emotions“It is getting past wishful thinking and wondering to understanding what is really going on, and that makes it much more actionable,” Picard said.

“We all have trouble reading emotional cues when we are on the Web,” she continued.  “Everybody who has been there for a while has been misunderstood at some time.”

Those who have web cams connected to computers were invited to test the technology by viewing a group of ads online at an ‘Interactive: Analyze Your Smile’ page at

A ‘Q Sensor’ could be strapped in the wrist or ankle could assess if one is excited or bored.  The sensor measures the electricity being conducted through the skin to find out the arousal.

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