Mood tracking: Thanks, smartphone, I’m fine.
„I think you need a break.“ In the future, our smartphone could suggest that when it notices that we’re under a lot of stress. The basis for this is mood tracking apps that can help structure our everyday lives. Scientists at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) are now looking for volunteers who answer their smartphone honestly when it asks: How are you?
Watches that track our activity have long been part of everyday life. But while we want to promote our physical health in this way, we are abandoning our soul. If we are depressed for a long time, the system could gently encourage us to see a doctor. If we are in a good mood, it might suggest a bicycle tour for the weekend. Organizing our work, planning our leisure time, but also keeping an eye on our own health – all these aspects are to be simplified by apps for mood tracking in the future.
PhD student Helma Torkamaan from the working group „Interactive Systems“ is currently looking for volunteers to test the user interface of their PAX Mood Tracker app for at least two weeks. For this purpose, she has developed nine different variants such as written queries, interactive input or visual- supported communication. Interested users can participant by downloading and installing the app from here: http://tinyurl.com/paxmood
The PAX Mood Tracker can be downloaded free of charge for Android smartphones for study purposes. „However, it is still unable to predict the mood of the users,“ Torkamaan explains. „First of all, it’s all about finding the most suitable user interface for tracking the mood.“ In a follow-up study, the app should already recommend activities to improve the user’s mood.
During the study, the user data is stored anonymously in order to be able to evaluate the success of the respective query system. „But in the final app, we only intent to store all data locally with the user,“ says the 31-year-old, underlining data protection. So that only the user’s own smartphone knows whether today is a good day to remind the user of clearing out the cellar. Or better tomorrow.
Editor: Birte Vierjahn, Tel. 0203/37 9-2427, firstname.lastname@example.org
Helma Torkamaan, Faculty of Engineering, Tel. 0203/37 9-2276, email@example.com