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Facial mapping service suggests the best food for users’ emotional well-being

Sport & Fitness

Mood-mapping technology used to provide an accurate assessment of a person's emotional state and suggest the optimum meal for them to order.

There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating that a person’s mood has a significant impact on their taste and smell, deadening or livening the effect of both. A new mood-mapping service uses facial mapping to detect how users are feeling, suggesting food to lift their spirits or ease anxiety.

Set to launch later this year, the app monitors facial expressions, scanning the face for things like frown lines and down-turned lips and eyes. It detects an array of emotions from anger and fear, to sadness and joy, and suggests meals in response. Individuals feeling excited may benefit from blood sugar regulating foods such as whole grains, whilst those who are stressed should be calmed by foods containing magnesium, such as dark chocolate and nuts. The innovation is a collaboration between experimental psychologist Charles Spence, food delivery service Just Eat and El Bulli chef, Ferran Adrià. Spence, who is interested in the way mood and emotion can affect the sensory discriminatory aspects of tasting, explains “It’s important to recognize the relationship between the foods we eat and our moods so that we can ensure that we’re looking after not only our physical, but also our emotional well-being.”

Some time ago we wrote about Jibo, a robot that uses facial recognition and natural language processing to offer personal assistance in the home. If devices of this kind could incorporate this technology, it would significantly increase the importance of data tags for restaurants. As the home interface device would be ordering on behalf of their users, a new form of SEO battle would be fought on the basis of ranking for different emotional states.

Email: charles.spence@psy.ox.ac.uk

Website: www.psy.ox.ac.uk/team/charles-spence

Contact: charles.spence@psy.ox.ac.uk

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