The wearable device has microphones paired with software that can detect the wearer's emotional state from the sound of his voice. Internal documents show that at some point in the future, the device could advise users on how to interact with other people.
We don't know whether Amazon's project will turn into a commercial product, but we can only hope.
Amazon is building a wearable with voice activation at the heart that's capable of recognising human emotions. A beta test is in progress, although it is unknown whether the software that detects emotions is being tested, the pre-production hardware, or both. Amazon has, in the past, publicly discussed its' desire to develop a more lifelike voice assistant.
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Over the past year or so, Amazon (AMZN) has been pushing hard to make its digital assistant, Alexa, ubiquitous, even beyond its Echo devices. The sketch shows a woman telling Alexa she's hungry, between a cough and sniffling afterwards. You'd still need to say the wake word to execute the command, but it would make interactions with Alexa smart speakers feel more natural. A second patent granted Amazon is of a system that uses techniques to distinguish the wearer's speech from background noises. Already, Alexa has gained a popular presence in senior care homes. The product created the smart speaker category, introduced the world to Alexa, and gave Amazon a way to get its feet inside a large number of consumers' doors. So the company is trying to make Alexa ubiquitous in other ways.
Amazon has envisioned changes to Alexa that would allow the AI to record what users say before they use the wake-up word, so users don't have to start every command by waking up their robot.
It is understood that it is still at the laboratory level, Amazon's Lab 126 and the software team that works on Alexa is also collaborating in the work.