Social Mood Ring

This project was intended to bring awareness of how we’re using technology. I was awarded a grant for the research along with a prize at the end of the year for Outstanding Capstone. Roughly translated it was awesome and a wicked cool device.

The TLDR; I made a pendant with an LED that changes color based on your Twitter feeds emotional state.

The long version;

The idea was to create a wearable device that would give feedback based on the emotional context of a social feed. In this case, the API for Twitter was readily accessible so plugged in to a Python script that analyzed text and sent back an emotional score which was converted to a hex value in the app and sent to the Arduino causing the LED to change color.

My personal philosophy;

People have agency and a right to express how they feel and choose how they act. When we get to a point we act without intention, without regard for the people we may impact, we have failed. I have come to the conclusion that a Fitbit does not change a lazy person in to a marathoner, an Apple Watch does not make a chronically late person suddenly more productive and on time, these devices can aid, but they are not change. To impact the behavior we must want change. The people that want change the most are those that are educated and aware. This project is not aimed and preventing behavior, or even truly changing it. It is targeted at understanding. We must be aware of what we are doing online and how what we’re doing in there impacts the real world out here. Be aware, have intention, don’t waste all of this beautiful technology on useless things.

With this device the hope is when people understand how they behave, they can decide for themselves how they want to live and who they want to be.

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