Tracking Emotions

If you believe you have not quantified yourself enough so far merely by tracking your steps, pulse, resting heart, VO2 Max etc. its now possible to track your emotions. Are you happy? Are you sad? Well how would you know unless you had a device to tell you? A new start-up on Kickstarter called Planexta is in the process of building a watch that can track your emotions. It does this by analysing your QRS Complex. Your QRS complex is the name for the graphical deflections typically seen in an electro cardiogram or ECG. Without getting too technical, the duration and amplitude (reflected in height negative and positive) of the QRS waves indicate the state of your heart and your risk of cardio-vascular diseases.

Algorithms developed by the company are able to detect emotions from these signals and predict your state of mind. Scientists at MIT have already developed a non-invasive device that uses radio waves to detect the emotions of a person. By measuring subtle changes in the breathing pattern and heart beat of a person, the device can tell whether you are happy or sad. Planexta is taking this to the next level by creating an on-site (your wrist) device that can constantly monitor electric signals. Of course, in addition to your emotions, it can tell the state of your respiratory system, your circadian rhythms, your nervous system, breathing and signs of ageing. The company believes that by measuring net change over time, your ability to anticipate the risks substantially improves.

The root of our emotions lie in evolution. Our sense of fear came from the need for survival in the face of being ambushed. When faced with a existential threat, our body suppresses all our other basic needs such as hunger, thirst etc to focus energy on the threat. This is invaluable. Going forward, you may be able to alter your response to fear and measure how well you did on your wrist watch.