Affective Computing

What is it?

New systems and devices will help us recognise, interpret, process and simulate human affects. This will enable us to sense the emotional state of users by measuring changes in heart rate and galvanic skin response, body temperature, posture and gestures, verbal content, the rhythm of their keystrokes and facial expressions.

Why is it important?

Affective computing can be invaluable for tailoring the presentation style of a computerised tutor to the learner, whether they are disengaged, interested, frustrated or amused. In particular, there is interest among educators in the area of distance education, with the goal being able to determine what will keep remote students engaged.

What to do next?

This emerging technology is appearing in small scale projects at the University. New partnerships and continued research in affective computing will help develop online computer-based learning environments to a degree where they can respond seamlessly to a learner's needs.