It looks like Amazon may be preparing to enter the wearable game. While one of the Apple Watch‘s marquee features is its heart monitoring, the upcoming Amazon wearable may track something else — the wearer’s emotions.
The report first came from Bloomberg, which noted that the upcoming wearable would be wrist-worn and voice-activated — as you might expect from an upcoming Amazon device. The device is reportedly being developed by Amazon’s Lab126, which has been responsible for products like the Kindle, Fire Phone, and Echo. Other details include the fact that the device will reportedly sync with a smartphone app.
So how exactly will the device track emotions? Well, it’ll reportedly be through the tone of their voice. According to the Bloomberg report, the device will have microphones and processing that can discern the emotions of a user through the sound of their voice — and that information might eventually be used to “advise the wearer how to interact more effectively with others.”
The concept of a device that can track emotions has been around for some time now, but no company has genuinely nailed it just yet. There are a number of biomarkers that can indicate a user’s emotions.
Of course, the wearable will likely go far beyond merely tracking a user’s emotions. It will also probably have other health-tracking features, including a heart rate monitor and the ability to track steps and other activity. Large tech companies are increasingly entering the health space, and Amazon could collect a ton of data. Theoretically, the company could track when users buy over-the-counter medication and other health products, which could indicate the user’s overall health. It can also track eating habits if users buy their food at Whole Foods and use their Amazon Prime account.
While the wearable may be the first Amazon device with emotion-tracking features, if successful, it is likely that the tech will eventually roll out to other Amazon products, especially if it relies on the microphone. Of course, it’s also possible that the wearable will never see the light of day — Amazon likely experiments with new hardware products relatively regularly.