This may seem an astonishing suggestion, but a group of academic researchers in Malaysia believe that measuring and analysing in real time people’s various body parameters could provide a basis for helping them to communicate better.
Can biophysical data help to shed light on human personality type and mood? A team of researchers at the Petronas University of Technology in Malaysia, who have been investigating the use of wireless sensors worn on the body or clustered on a bracelet, argue that this approach enables us to identify a person’s emotional state and may therefore also help to improve interactions with others, as these are affected by emotions. Embedded in clothing as a ‘wearable’ device or implanted directly into our bodies, these sensors measure various critical parameters – body temperature, blood pressure, brain impulses, breathing rhythms, etc. This approach has already started a revolution in what is known as ‘remote’ healthcare and the Malaysian researchers argue that it can be applied to relationships as well: “A person’s character (personality type, mood and psychological condition) are determined in different contexts through these same parameters,” they point out. And they see a useful application for this methodology in the world of work. It is of course not uncommon for companies to put together teams based on a variety of personalities but the major drawback here identified by the Petronas University team is that such personality assessments are often carried out on the basis of a questionnaire.
Sensor, sensor on my wrist, what’s my mood today?
The Information sensors. With the system they envisage, all the data is transmitted periodically to a central point, the cluster head – which they have called an ACN node, referring to Aggregator, Classifier and Notifier – that could be carried as a ‘wrist device’. ACN nodes are used to collect data from the sensor nodes, aggregate the data locally and so determine a person’s personality that people in general are not yet able to work out for themselves their psychological state at his/her current mood and perhaps also “advise them how to behave with their counterparts,” suggest the researchers.
An end to disputes and divorce?
The Petronas Technology University team believe that the value of this type of system would be greatly enhanced if everyone carried such a device. Everyone would then be able to receive reliable, precise information not only on his/her own condition but also on that of friends and counterparts. This would of course require a secure protocol so as to ensure that we would not be system could guide us in our daily activities, and help us to avoid disappointments and avert a they perhaps be getting rather carried away with their ideas? When they say their approach could do away with misunderstandings which lead “close friends to become alienated from one another”, “life partners to divorce” and “family members to drift apart”, be aiming a little too high…