Personal Technologies

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 231–240 | Cite as

Affective wearables

  • R. W. Picard
  • J. Healey


An ‘affective wearable’ is a wearable system equipped with sensors and tools which enables recognition of its wearer's affective patterns. Affective patterns include expressions of emotion such as a joyful smile, an angry gesture, a strained voice or a change in autonomic nervous system activity such as accelerated heart rate or increasing skin conductivity. This paper describes new applications of affective wearables, and presents a prototype which gathers physiological signals and their annotations from its wearer. Results of preliminary experiments of its performance are reported for a user wearing four different sensors and engaging in several natural activities.


Heart Rate Nervous System User Interface System Activity Autonomic Nervous System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Hofmann G and Barlow DH. Ambulatory psychophysiological monitoring: a potentially useful tool when treating panic relapse. Cognit and Behav Pract 1996; 3: 53–61.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Goleman D. Emotional Intelligence. Bantam Books, New York, 1995.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cacioppo JT, Tassinary LG. Inferring psychological significance from physiological signals. Am Psychol 1990; 45(1): 16–28.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Picard RW. Affective Computing. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1997.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mann S. Wearable computing: a first step toward personal imaging. Computer February 1997; 25–31.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Brown R, Kulik J. Flashbulb memories. Cognition 5: 73–99.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Starner T, Mann S, Rhodes B, Levine J, Healey J, Kirsch D, Picard R and Pentland A. Augmented reality through wearable computing. Presence 1997; 6(4): 386–398.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lang PJ, Greenwald MK and Bradley MM et al. Looking at pictures: affective, facial, visceral and behavioural reactions. Psychophysiology 1993; 30: 261–273.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Winton WM, Putnam L and Krauss R. Facial and autonomic manifestations of the dimensional structure of emotion. Social Psychol 1984; 20: 195–216.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Levenson RW. Autonomic nervous system differences among emotions. Am Psychol Soc 1992; 3(1): 23–27.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Helander M. Applicability of drivers' electrodermal response to the design of the traffic environment. J Appl Psychol 1978; 63(4): 481–488.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Davidson RJ. Parsing affective space: perspectives from neuropsychology and psychophysiology. Neuropsychology 1993; 7(4): 464–475.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Zimmerman T. Personal area networks {(PAN)}: nearfieldintra-body communication. IBM Syst J 1996; 35: 609–618.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Post R, Reynolds M, Gray M, Paradiso J and Gershenfeld N. Intrabody buses for data and power. In: Proceedings of the IEEE conference The first international symposium on wearable computing, Cambridge, MA, October. 1997. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. W. Picard
    • 1
  • J. Healey
    • 1
  1. 1.MIT Media LaboratoryCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations