New Tech From Bell Labs Lets You Share Emotions Through Touch

Engineers are developing a wearable armband that translates emotional cues into vibrations.

bell labs
Nokia Bell Labs has created the Sleeve which can communicate emotion through touch. (Wikipedia)

For the past year, engineers at Nokia Bell Labs, the famed New Jersey research facility that created the transistor, have been working on a wearable armband with input from artistic collaborators. The project is part of a program called Experiments in Art and Technology, founded in the 1960s but newly resurrected in partnership with the design firm New, Inc. The program pairs up artists and scientists to explore big questions about right-brain versus left-brain issues, like: What’s will the successor to smartphone look like? Can humans communicated through touch?

The Sleeve, as the product is called, tries to answer the latter question. According to Wired, it’s designed to gather information about the user’s physical and emotional state through gyroscopes, accelerometers, and optical sensors, then communicates that knowledge via haptic pulses—or vibrational jolts—or screen-displayed messages.

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