In news set to put a smile on any cranky person's dial, a brand new app, developed by scientists at Oxford University, will use facial recognition to determine a person's mood, then suggest the perfect meal to dispel anxiety and lift the user’s spirits.
According to The Telegraph, experimental scientist Professor Charles Spence worked alongside UK food delivery service Just Eat to develop the new ‘mood mapping’ technology, which has just been trialled this week.
The app works by scanning the user’s face for frown lines, and down-turned eyes and lips to detect emotions such as anger, sadness, fear, disgust, surprise and joy, and will then make menu recommendations according to its results.
For example, if the technology determines feelings of anger, the app will suggest a meal proven to induce a sense of calm, such as dark chocolate or nuts containing magnesium.
A person experiencing joy, however, might prefer to snack on stabilising foods such as legumes and whole grains.
Professor Charles Spence, whose endeavours have led him to work alongside Heston Blumenthal, says that "face mapping can provide a more accurate and objective assessment of a person's mood or emotional state than they can".
“Often people are not able to say how they are feeling or just don't feel they want to. After all, we might know that we are in a bad mood, but not know why."
"There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates that your mood has a significant impact on your taste and smell - it can deaden or liven the effect of both."
"A reverse of this is also believed to be true: that food can have a number of affects on your mood."
Graham Corfield, managing director of Just Eat agrees.
"We know that mood plays a part in what we choose to eat, so innovations like Emotion-Analysis-Technology, while fun, also serve a real purpose," he says.
“Ultimately, we want people be thinking about food and the impact it can have on their daily life."
The app is expected for public release later this year.