Amazon is reportedly developing a voice-activated wearable device that can recognize human emotions.
If successful, the health product could help the company improve its targeted advertisements and make better product recommendations, reports Bloomberg. The unnamed device could also advise humans on how to better interact with others.
A source showed Bloomberg internal Amazon documents that revealed a few details about the futuristic health and wellness product.
The gadget is wrist-worn, so it could look something like a Fitbit or Apple Watch, and it’s being produced via a collaboration between the retail giant and Lab126, a hardware development firm that created Amazon’s Kindle, Fire phone and Echo smart speaker, said the report.
The wearable is designed to work with a smartphone app and “has microphones paired with software that can discern the wearer’s emotional state from the sound of his or her voice,” according to Bloomberg sources.
It’s unclear whether Amazon has plans to bring the device to the mass market. U.S. TODAY reached out to Amazon for comment about the new device.
Still, it’s apparent that the e-commerce behemoth is working to build out a larger ecosystem of consumer electronics products with built-in speech recognition software.
Amazon is said to be working on a home robot called “Vesta,” which is reportedly a movable machine version of Alexa. And the company is working on Alexa-powered earphones designed to compete with Apple AirPods.
As futuristic as it sounds, a wearable that can monitor human emotions isn’t improbable. According to the global research company Gartner, “By 2022, 10% of personal devices will have emotion AI capabilities, either on-device or via cloud services, up from less than 1% in 2018.”