November 17, 2009 weblog
'Rationalizer' bracelet tells traders when they're stressed
(PhysOrg.com) -- Philips Electronics and the Dutch bank ABN AMRO have joined forces to develop a "Rationalizer" bracelet system that detects stress levels and displays a warning to help day-traders avoid making hasty decisions.
Day trading can be a hazardous occupation and rash, irrational decisions can lose the trader a lot of money. Philips and ABN AMRO decided to solve that problem by inventing a device that senses the emotions of the wearer and warns the investor to wait and carefully consider any decisions on the next transaction.
The concept device was developed by Philips Design and ABN AMRO's Dialogues Incubator, with the assistance of the VU University in Amsterdam, after research confirmed that day traders sometimes act irrationally because their actions are affected by their stress level and powerful emotions such as greed or fear.
The Rationalizer consists of an "EmoBracelet" and an "EmoBowl" and incorporates sensors and signal processors designed by Philips. The EmoBracelet's galvanic skin response sensor measures the level of emotional arousal in a similar way to a lie detector. The result is displayed on either the bracelet or the EmoBowl as a light display that intensifies and changes to reflect the wearer's intensifying emotional arousal. At the highest emotional stress level the display has a greater number of elements moving at higher speed, and the color changes to a warning red.
Dialogues Incubator Director Paul Iske said the Rationalizer was an example of the innovative ideas being developed to add value to the customers. In this case the device should help traders look at their transactions more objectively, and warn them when irrational or unwise decisions are likely.
Senior Director at Philips Design, Clive van Heerden, said emotional sensing was becoming more important in today's digital world. He also believes there are many other possible applications, such as game controllers, intelligent cameras to interpret social situations, or even dating sites that enable you to tell who is attracted to you.
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