Israeli voice-recognition software developer Beyond Verbal has developed an app that can assess your mood in about 20 seconds just by listening to you speak—just one in a new breed of emotionally aware and speech-focused apps that are being built into a growing number of consumer products.
The so-called Moodies app, which was released earlier this year, is designed largely as a fun self-analysis tool. Users can even share their emotion via an emoticon on Facebook. But, as the WSJ also notes, the app is part of a larger movement by developers to push sophisticated hardware and software that can identify an individual's emotional state by analyzing his or her voice.
Companies are developing voice-recognition tools that can screen airline passengers, detect fraud and help call centers handle angry customers. Beyond Verbal, for example, licenses its tech for partnerships in consumer applications, devices, appliances and software.
The question is, how accurate are these tools? Some experts are skeptical about the accuracy of such technology.
In Beyond Verbal's case, the company says that based on user feedback, the smartphone app has an accuracy rate of 80 percent.
The basis of Beyond Verbal's technology is the human "intonational code" extracted from vocal intonations. This code was discovered by a team of leading scientists who conducted research over 18 years and included more than 60,000 test subjects in 26 different languages, according to the company.