Amazon is reportedly developing an Alexa-powered wearable device that can recognize and react to human emotions, according to Bloomberg. The device, which may be similar to a Fitbit or Apple Watch, is described as a health and wellness product in Amazon’s internal documents. The wearable device is being developed by Alexa’s voice software team, and Lab126, the hardware development firm that created Amazon’s Fire phone and Echo smart speaker.
According to the report, the device will come with its own app and feature a microphone that will be able to recognize the wearer’s emotions based on his or her vocal patterns. Using AI technology, the device may eventually be able to provide the wearer with recommendations on how to better interact with other humans.
Amazon has not confirmed or commented on the product, but does have a code-name for the project, Project Dylan. It is not clear how far along the project is, or if the device will ever actually become commercially available. According to Bloomberg sources, Amazon often lets employees experiment with products that very well may never become public.
The report also revealed that Amazon had a patent filed in 2017, which described technology that uses voice analysis to recognize feelings such as “joy, anger, sorrow, sadness, fear, disgust, boredom, stress, or other emotional states.”
Amazon is also developing a domestic robot, named Vesta, which will be a mobile version of Alexa. According to Bloomberg, prototypes of Vesta can use self-navigation to move throughout an owner’s home.