Can A Wrist-Wearable ECG Monitor Track Your Emotions?

People have been working on stress monitoring devices for a while. To date, most use some combination of heart rate, temperature, and maybe perspiration. A few have taken novel approaches—like watching for goose bumps. It can be helpful to know when someone’s stress levels are getting out of their normal range—like when air traffic controllers are overloaded.

But can a simple wearable do more than measure stress? Startup company Planexta, launching on Kickstarter this week after doing a demo tour of Silicon Valley last week, thinks it can. The Ukraine-based company says it has figured out how to match variations in a specific part of the electrocardiograph (ECG) signal—the R peak—to emotions. They don’t mean just stress and anxiety, but actual happiness and sadness, and nearly 40 other emotional states.

The trick, says Adam Paulin, the company’s North American representative, was not only developing the algorithm, but developing a wearable ECG monitor that was accurate enough for this purpose. The company came up with a wrist-worn gadget—the Sence—that has three electrodes: Two watch for that R-peak signal, …[Read more]