It’s no secret that millennials and Gen Z are comfortable gamifying their lives. They go to bed with their smartphones to observe sleeping cycles over time and wear FitBits to track calories burned throughout the day. They even gamify their love lives by swiping left or right to an endless sea of faces on Tinder.
Gamification of everyday life is increasingly prevalent and permeates far beyond the realm of physical health and fitness routines. Now we’re actively tracking and gamifying their emotion. Trend Hunter's consumer insights research has labelled this phenomenon ‘automated emotion.’
One startup leading the charge is Moodmetric with its high-tech (yet fashionable) ring. This funky piece of jewellery is anything but your average 1970s mood ring. With the help of Moodmetric’s app, it allows you to track your mood in real time from zero (being the lowest emotional state) to 100 (being the highest).
If you’ve had a stressful day at the office or tensions are running high with your loved one, don’t despair. Watch your stress levels drop before your eyes with the included deep relaxation exercise.
The ring, which retails at $200 (U.S.) also allows you to measure the electrodermal activity (EDA) of your skin. According to the company, this method is “widely adoped in psychological research,” and tracks “the activity of the sweat glands [by measuring] the palmar skin on your finger.” This is the location of the highest concentration of sweat glands on the human body, so it makes an ideal location for monitoring emotional activity.
The concept of Automated Emotion is still new and tracking the emotional past of individuals – and compiling this data for a collective look as well – is big data that will surely change the way emotional health is researched, treated, diagnosed and prevented.
With budding companies like Moodmetric allowing users to see hourly breakdowns of their mental state over long periods of time, people can recognize patterns in their behaviour, environment, etc., which can help to identify triggers and help them to be more mindful of their emotional state.
Moodmetric rings are now on pre-sale, but similar products have already seen success. Ginger.io is an app that tracks your text volume, how long your on the phone, your travel radius, etc. By tracking your regular daily smartphone interactions, the app looks to be able to identify when you’re showing early signs of depression. The app is currently partnered with health research companies as well as hospitals. Even some innovative healthcare insurers such as Humana use voice-analysis software improve customer service in call centers.
Is the slow-moving and red tape-ridden world of health care ready for a new era of big data and Automated Emotion? It may not matter.
Trend Hunter’s research, which relies on a billion-strong virtual focus group shows a surge in Automated Emotion innovation in the last year. The accessibility, cost and eager acceptance of devices like the Moodmetric ring by individual consumers is creating the ideal breeding ground for mass adoption.
Shelby Walsh is the president of Trend Hunter, the world's most updated, largest collection of cutting edge ideas.