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Minding Your Mood

Summary:
Memory seats are nice. But how about mood minders? In-car sensors that assess your state of mind via eye movements, facial expressions, gestures – even your rising (or falling) heartbeat – and adjust the car accordingly? Some of this is already here. A number of new cars come standard with “drowsy driver” monitoring systems. Cameras embedded in the dash watch you as you drive; if the system thinks you’re getting heavy-lidded or distracted, a chime will sound and a warning light (it’s often a coffee cup symbol) comes on.  Soon, it’ll be much more than just a light and a chime. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the next Great Leap Forward was on display. In addition to cameras watching you, infra-red sensors will soon register your metabolic rate as an

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Memory seats are nice. But how about mood minders? In-car sensors that assess your state of mind via eye movements, facial expressions, gestures – even your rising (or falling) heartbeat – and adjust the car accordingly?

Some of this is already here.

A number of new cars come standard with “drowsy driver” monitoring systems. Cameras embedded in the dash watch you as you drive; if the system thinks you’re getting heavy-lidded or distracted, a chime will sound and a warning light (it’s often a coffee cup symbol) comes on.

Soon, it’ll be much more than just a light and a chime.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the next Great Leap Forward was on display. In addition to cameras watching you, infra-red sensors will soon register your metabolic rate as an indicator of agitation and if the car decides you’re too angry to drive, it pulls itself over.

For saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety! 

Be sure to maintain a vapid smile of contentment at all times – like Winston in Orwell’s 1984 – though even that might not be enough if the car can tell how you’re feeling inside, something even Orwell thought impossible back in 1948, when the novel was written.

This isn’t a dystopian vision. It’s actuality.

A number of new cars know it’s you – specifically – behind the wheel. Not just Driver A. Facial recognition tech scans and identifies you – and then adjusts the seats and so on accordingly.

The car keeps track of your preferences – and probably also your opinions. Think twice about what you say because there may be more than just you and your passenger in the car – and in on the conversation.

Soon, everything that goes on in a new car will be open source.

And so much more.

Eric Peters
Eric Peters is a freelance car/bike/political columnist. He escaped the corporate-owned media Big Boys years ago. Without the censorship of the corporate tools

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