New Device Measures Your Emotions Via Goosebumps, Is Horrifying

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Photo: Young-Ho Cho/KAIST

The device you see there to the left is a “capacitive-type flexible micro sensor” that can be affixed to human skin and which is designed to measure goosebumps brought on by changes in temperature or the wearer’s emotional state. 

The authors of the paper announcing this gadget, a trio of Korean scientists, note that it could be useful for applications like air conditioners that keep you exactly as cool as you need to be, or cars that smartly adapt to your emotional state, presumably in safety-enhancing ways. But the author of the EurekAlert! press release about this research seems to have a better handle on where things are really headed:

While more work still needs to be done to correlate such physical measurements with emotional states, the work suggests that quantitatively monitoring goose bumps in real-time as an indicator of human physical or emotional status is possible, which could pave the way for personalized advertising, music streams or other services informed by directly access to the emotions of the end user.

Circa-2025 conversation:

Me: This burrito is totally soggy. I want a refund.

Burrito establishment employee [looking at a Minority-Report-esque display screen]: Impossible. It says right here you enjoyed it so much you almost started crying with joy immediately after your first bite. 

Me: I withdraw my complaint. 

The future is going to be awesome!