James Hogan


Imagine a classic mood ring. The mood ring would, ostensibly, change colour based on how the wearer was feeling at a given moment. Essentially, though, it would merely change based on the temperature of the wearer, drawing a connection between that and the users’ emotional state. MoodPix behaves in a similar way; though with a far superior means of understanding the mood of the wearer, and rather than merely change colour, it seeks to engage with the wearer in a much more meaningful way. Furthermore, rather than assume the form of a ring, this project utilises an elongated forearm ‘wearable’, so as to allow for the integration of more sophisticated measurement devices.

MoodPix is an interactive picture display software that accesses and displays photos based upon biometric data generated by the user. It seeks to redress what has been identified as a disproportionately slow rate of adaptation of digital technology in decorative elements of the domestic space; particularly displays such as picture frames. Positioning this project within the context of Interaction Design, this thesis details research carried out in the areas of Psychophysiology and User Experience. MoodPix also explores the utilisation of biometrics; more specifically EMG and EDA.

What are EMG and EDA?

EMG stands for Electromyography. It is, essentially, the measurement of the electrical energy produced by the movement of muscles and is a means of determining valence. This research operates upon the consensus that valence can be viewed as bearing a distinct correlation with emotional state.

EDA stands for Electrodermal Activity. This term refers to the levels of activity of sweat glands located beneath the surface of the skin. EDA is seen as a means of establishing an individual’s level of arousal. Just as is the case with valence, arousal levels are believed to be reliable indicators of emotional state.

James Hogan