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Rana el Kaliouby, co-founder of MIT spinoff Affectiva, speaks to Asma Khalid from WBUR’s Bostonomix about her company’s work making tech devices that are more emotionally intelligent. “We envision a world where our devices and our technologies are emotional-wear,” says el Kaliouby. “They can sense and respond to your emotions in real time in a way that makes the interaction more positive.” 

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Screenshots from a video from Affectiva shows how the Affdex software tracks facial cues to infer emotions. At top left, a fixed stare signals concentration; at top right, a furrowed brow signals confusion; at bottom right, a raised brow signals enjoyment; and at bottom left, a wrinkled nose bridge may signal disgust.

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With emotion-tracking software, Affectiva attracts big-name clients, aims for “mood-aware” Internet.