Imagine a smartphone that could act as your counselor in stressful situations, advising you on how to measure and deal with stress in your life. Researchers at Cornell University are developing just such an application, and their work is just one example of hopefully many projects that will come out of the pipeline of the newly created Intel Science and Technology Center (ITSC) for Pervasive Computing.
The center named "mobile health and wellbeing" as one of its areas of focus. In line with this theme, the Cornell researchers are working to develop an application that monitors mental health and manages stress. For example, the phone's microphone might be employed to monitor stress levels in speech, with privacy protection to make the actual words unintelligible. The researchers are also working to craft advisory messages that would allow users to keep track of how and when stressful events occur, and offer advice on how to avoid them. The application could utilize worn sensors to deliver crucial information about the user's stress levels throughout the day, and employ visualizations of activities and corresponding stress levels to make users more aware of what causes stress.
It will definitely be exciting to see what other projects arise out of this new center for pervasive computing. In addition to Cornell University, the center, hosted at the University of Washington, is also working with researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Rochester, UCLA, and Stanford University. It is co-led by Dieter Fox, associate professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, and Anthony LaMarca, a senior scientist at Intel.