The MobileInsider newsletter describes a new app in development that will be able to tell your emotional state from the sound of your voice. It says,
"...the app analyzes your tone and cadence and matches it against an arsenal of pre-stored voice samples that will help it to qualify the caller’s emotional state. So if someone is speaking rapidly and in a high-pitched voice, the phone takes this frequency and tone to mean that he is anxious, or perhaps angry."
How could this be used? The article comes up with these examples:
Maybe it knew you were really stressed at a certain time of day and took it upon itself to give your screen a complete makeover, changing the colors and hues to calmer, cooler tones that are easier on the eyes. It almost would feel like your phone “got you” and was, in a strange way, taking care of you.
If I'm really stressed, I don't think changing the color of my phone screen is going to help. Maybe if it could scream at the person in the supermarket checkout line in front of me that she should have thought about getting her cash or credit card out of her purse BEFORE the checker packed the very last item, I'd feel my phone "got me." If it Tased that women, I'd really feel taken care of.
Of course ultimately it's not about taking care of us, it's about selling us stuff:
It will also afford the ability to find people in an emotional state when they are more open to a very specific marketing message and even more importantly, when they are not.
I can imagine the message to advertisers: "Detect when phone users are most vulnerable! Yes, even people experiencing grief can be persuaded to buy, and depressed consumers are sitting ducks for comfort food."
Don't call me and I won't call you.