Mood It

Technology for Your Emotions

  • Capabilities Used
  • UX
  • Engineering
  • Experience Design

What if there was an app that made users more aware of their emotions, as well as those of their friends and coworkers, and thus made difficult conversations easier? Altitude created Moodit a concept app that uses emotion-detecting software to monitor your text messages, social media updates, and newsfeeds to gauge how you and your peers are feeling. It’s geared toward avoiding conflict in that it makes you more aware of the emotions that make conversations difficult.

Moodit tracks your feelings in real time, helping you become more effective emotionally through prompts and notifications.

Tracking Emotions with an App

The team found that there are two major causes of difficult conversations. One is not being aware of your own emotions during a conversation, and the other is not being aware of the other person’s emotions, not picking up on nuance. These behaviors can result in one or both parties getting upset.

Moodit helps solve these problems, using an interface inspired by mood rings, with emotions represented by a spectrum of colors. The app would help you deal with emotions more effectively by sending you prompts and notifications. Say you’re an angsty teenager and tweet “everything sucks”—the app would send you a push notification saying, “Yikes! Things have taken a turn for the bitter in your posts. Is there a difficult conversation or feeling you’re avoiding? Be brave and face it head on!” If you’re in a Pollyannaish mood, tweeting “Sunny day, chasing the clouds away,” it might suggest you “take advantage of your good vibes and spread the cheer. It’s a great time to reach out to someone in your network who’s feeling down.”

The homepage visualizes Moodit users in your social network as user profile photos in rings, rendered in colors that indicate their current mood. “Cindy is content,” it might say, with a calm green ring around Cindy’s photo; while “Jeremy is angry,” with a red ring around Jeremy’s photo. It also aggregates the emotional temperature of entire networks—”Facebook is annoyed,” “Michigan is angry”—to report on “trending” emotions, the way Facebook currently posts trending stories.


Harnessing Developing Technology to Meet Consumer Needs

Moodit tracks your feelings in real time. As you’re texting with a friend, for example, it notes whether you moved from writing in full sentences to short, curt, one-word responses. A circle around your user photo would turn red accordingly, suggesting you might be getting annoyed, and that you might do well to take a few deep breaths.

The mood detection software the concept would employ exists today—it was used most infamously in Facebook’s controversial news feed manipulation experiment. It relies primarily on a database of words coded as “negative” or “positive” in emotional charge. It’s still in early stages, and so far uses broad strokes to detect whether emotions are positive or negative

There’s a lot of work being done in the space to make the software detect nuance. However, the approach allows the app to get the user going with minimal effort—you don’t have to enter any data, as it automatically gathers it from your texts and social media. While Moodit is still a concept, it shows what can be done when you harness developing technology with a consumer need focus. Blue Altitude Logo