How many times have you ROFLed with a straight face? How many times have you shown surprise just by sending an emoticon? Why has our ‘tech-savvy’ life become a series of straight faces staring at the mobile screen?
The Internet has created a huge divide between emotions and communications. It is inevitable that humans will sooner or later get bored of virtual interfaces. What everyone is trying to do is develop more and more easy to use interfaces, which is a good thing undoubtedly. However, what actually needs to be done is make interfaces understand humans and do this in the most humane way possible. Mobile phones being able to comprehend emotions like us humans is the way forward for technology.
These thoughts had been vexing Sumesh Dugar for a very long time. It was exacerbated when he became a part of the tech world as a developer. After many nights of brooding over this very modern day perplexity, the solution came to him in what can be described as an epiphanic moment almost. After a lot of deliberation and discussion with his peers, Sumesh presented the idea at 10,000 Startups Launchpad an event organized in association with Google for Entrepreneurs. He christened it True Emoji. His idea impressed the judges immensely and led him to win the competition. The app has now been launched as a Private Beta and will be made public very soon.
True Emoji Key is an app which reads the user’s facial expression, generates a corresponding emoji and then builds them a personalized True Emoji keyboard. The process of recognition of emotions along with emoji creation by handheld devices is bound to leave people impressed. However, the cherry on the cake has to be the personalized keyboard which can be used in all future text conversations. (www.trueemoji.com)
So what inspired Sumesh to develop True Emoji Key? In his own words: “Everywhere you turn, there is this huge discussion about the loss of human touch in social communication. It is like we are turning more and more into pre-programmed robots every passing second.
“I hail from Kolkata, which is often referred to as the ‘City of Joy’. It is a very expressive city. One can feel the waves of emotion passing through it during different seasons, different festivals as well as different points of the day. As I moved from the real world to the virtual world everyday, my city made me feel what communication is lacking at the present. Thus bloomed the idea of True Emoji Key and this place prodded me on to develop it faster.”
Emotion and technology play a central role in the concept of the app. Indeed, it is the very crux of it. The entire concept revolves around emotions and emotional technology, and the idea is to bring real time emotions on the Internet front. Affectiva’s technology helps True Emjoi in covering what would have taken the team years to build. That itself is testament to the fact how cutting-edge the technology is. It has become a very strong catalyst in the development of True Emoji Key as it stands today.
The next step is spreading the word and making people aware of how True Emoji Key can enhance virtual conversations and creating a strong and widespread user-base. “We have a few other ideas for the app which we would like to develop based on the feedback we receive,” says Sumesh.