New App Suggests Food Based on Facial Expressions

by Shirley Johanna on  November 28, 2016 at 11:33 PM Health Watch
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Highlights
  • A new app senses emotions and suggests food to lift the mood.
  • The 'mood mapping' technology scans the lips, eyes and frown lines to monitor emotions.
  • The app can detect anger, disgust, fear, surprise, sadness and joy and suggests food based on the emotion.
A new app developed by scientists at Oxford University monitors facial expressions to assess mood and suggests food based on what it finds.
New App Suggests Food Based on Facial Expressions
New App Suggests Food Based on Facial Expressions

Professor Charles Spence teamed up with food delivery service 'Just Eat' to launch new 'mood mapping' technology. The app will be trialed before the launch later this year.

The app looks for signs of emotions such as downturned lips, eyes and frown lines. The app can also assess the hidden feelings that a person may be ignoring.

"Face mapping can provide a more accurate and objective assessment of a person's mood or emotional state than they can," said Prof Spence.

"Often people are not able to say how they are feeling or just don't feel they want to. After all, we might know that we are in a bad mood, but not know why. There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates that your mood has a significant impact on your taste and smell. A reverse of this is also believed to be true; that food can have some affects on your mood."

Impact of emotions on food choices

Mood and emotions can affect the 'sensory discriminatory aspects of tasting.' Some people often stop eating following a relationship breakup because food simply does not taste as good as during happier times.

"This is at the very cutting edge of what technology and science can do but in the future it is likely to become much more the norm," he added.

The mood mapping app can detect different emotions such as anger, disgust, fear, surprise, sadness, joy and makes food suggestions based on the results.

For example, when the app detects anger as an emotion, it suggests calming foods such as dark chocolate and nuts that contain magnesium. For people who are excited, the app suggests blood sugar regulating foods, such as whole grains and legumes.

Nutritionist Ruth Tongue, said, "Not only do our moods affect the foods we choose to eat, but the foods we eat can, in turn, help us to feel happier, energized, relaxed, focused or fired up and ready for the day."

"It's important to recognize the relationship between the foods we eat and our moods so that we can ensure that we're looking after not only our physical, but also our emotional wellbeing."

Graham Corfield, UK Managing Director of Just Eat, said, "We know that mood plays a part in what we choose to eat, so innovations like Emotion-Analysis-Technology, while fun, also serve a real purpose. Ultimately we want people be thinking about food and the impact it can have on their daily life."

Source: Medindia

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