Smartmedical debuts Utakata mood light app for iOS, a vocal emotion recognition lighting app

Smartmedical launched on Thursday its Utakata Mood Light App for iOS, a vocal emotion recognition lighting app for Philips’ Hue technology. By connecting Hue API with Empath, Smartmedical’s proprietary vocal emotion recognition technology, the app identifies users’ emotions from their voice, regardless of the language, and changes the color of ambient lighting in response to emotion, and works with all Hue bridges.

The app works on iOS 8.0 or later, and is compatible with iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 4 Wi-Fi + Cellular, 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular, and iPod touch (6th generation).

The Tokyo-based company offers among its products the Valkee Bright Light Headset, a portable bright light therapy for winter blues. Due to human’s natural body clocks at odds with modern routines, there are times when the body does not get enough daily and regular light to feel energetic. The headset channels bright light to the light-sensitive parts of brain to keep spirits and mood high, apart from helping to alleviate jet lag symptoms and reduce the need for excess sleep.

Another product from Smartmedical includes EmoWatch, a mental health app visualizing mood from the voice. By using Empath, vocal emotion recognition sensor, app enables users to check their daily mood easily.

As mood data are accumulated, users can check the transition graph of their mood on the iPhone. The app is helpful for keeping a good mental wellbeing in various situations. “There are a lot of apps for Hue, but there’s nothing like this, which responds to emotion as detected by vocal input. This is a whole new lighting experience,” said Takaaki Shimoji, a Smartmedical board director. “The app enables you to visualize emotion through the color of light. When you are feeling positive, light changes into warm colors, such as red and orange. When you are down, it turns into cold colors such as blue or purple. For instance, if you use the app in your house, you can see how your loved ones feel through the colors. The app can create a new communication experience with your family.”

Beta testing for a prototype of the app has demonstrated its utility in various scenarios. For instance, in 2014, KOKUYO Furniture and Smartmedical created “That’s Light!” – a meeting space for creative brainstorming in Shibuya Hikarie, Tokyo.

“It’s very fun to have a brainstorming meeting in a “That’s Light!” space. The participants’ vigorous discussion of new creative ideas activates lighting in warm colors, which represent positive emotions. The app enables us to visualize the atmosphere of meetings, so most participants say the app is very fun and useful for evaluating meetings,” added Shimoji.

The company did not specify if this app would be available on Android devices.


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