Along with facial expressions, tell-tale variations in facial blood flow that causes reddening and whitening of the skin can also give an indication of people’s emotions. To take advantage of this, 2AI Labs developed a special pair of glasses designed to enhance a person’s color vision to better enable them to perceive the oxygenation and hemoglobin variations in another person’s face, and thus their emotional state. The glasses are now finding a variety of applications, from medical to security.
Evolutionary neurobiologist Mark Changizi believes that color vision in primates evolved in order for us to detect social cues, emotions and the states of our friends or enemies. When conversing with a person, blushing indicates he/she is embarrassed and if the blood drains from the face, it indicates the person is scared or apprehensive.
Changizi says the human eye is specifically tuned to see blood, and the amount of oxygen in blood, right through the skin. “We can often tell when someone is sick, and even what ails them, merely by looking at them.”
So following this theory, he and his colleagues at 2AI Labs have been developing special glasses to visually enhance for the user oxygenated blood and blood pooling, and thus amplify the social cues that allow us to perceive emotions more clearly. The glasses are called O2Amps (O2 for oxygen, Amp for amplification).