Face the music

27 May 2009

If you thought Sony Ericsson\'s mood-based SenseMe playlist function was avant-garde, you\'ll love their next trick: a playlist based on your facial expression.

According to SlashGear, Sony Ericsson have patented a system that would enable cell phones to employ facial recognition technology and "visual mood analysis" to build a playlist.

The idea is that the camera on the phone would take a snapshot or brief video of your face as you, say, adjust the volume on the phone\'s MP3 player. The system would then match your facial expression against a library of presets for happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, disgust, indifference, etc and run that against the music library, and select accordingly. It might also simply detect facial characteristics.

The example in the patent text is worth posting:

"David is listening to a Bruce Springsteen song on a mobile phone that includes a DMP [digital music player]. David is in a very happy mood because he recently found out that he won the lottery. As David adjusts the volume of the DMP, camera 260 may capture an image of David\'s face. Based on the captured image, FER [facial expression recognition] component 420 may determine that the facial expression of David matches a category (e.g., a happy mood category) contained in category field 514 of FER database 500. Category field 514 may include a previously linked song associated with the happy mood category (e.g., a song by Metallica)."

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