Track your mood throughout the day with Emotion Sense.

emotion sense

Emotionsense is a mobile phone app from researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK. The app monitors users’ behavior, interaction and activities from their phone usage (call, text) to calculate emotions. For this purpose the app needs to access a lot of information on your phone.

Emotionsense collects users emotions with proximity (how close the person on the call is located) and patterns (how frequent the call are made) from phone conversations log. It would then crunch these data to understand the correlation and impact of interactions and activities performed with a certain emotion.

It then validates that result by asking you to log in your emotions on the Affect grid. You get to see the results on a certain timeline like last 7 days on the ‘Emotions’ screen.

Affect grid looks like in the image below, the top is active, alert, awake while the bottom is inactive, sleepy, unalert. Right side is positive feeling while the left is negative. You can log your emotion by touching on the grid. If you are happy, you would touch on mid-to-top right on the grid.


It then compares the users feedback with the app’s calculation.This helps users’ see how their emotions relate to the data their phone has captured. At the end of the day users’ can log their feedback for a set of questions, as shown in the image below, you can as well as log your feedback anytime you like.



The emotions are categorized into 5 broad categories totaling 14 sub categories.


How the mobile phones beats the inconvenience of the traditional system

Mobile phones allows to perform this monitoring seamlessly. The traditional monitoring system involved users wearing a voice recorder and a PDA to log their status to track what a person’s mood is at that time. This however won’t get the accurate picture as the user is aware of his logging every time, so the results would be biased. Emotionsense simplifies this and does all the monitoring on the mobile phone all while user is unaware of what’s going on, and asks a question only then the user becomes aware of what’s happening.

This is what Emotionsense has to say about your phone sensors, your phone usage behavior and how it relates to your mood,

Your phone contains many different sensors that can detect how the phone is moving and being used. Other software in your smartphone can keep track of how frequently you make phone calls. Data from these sensors can be used to see how, as you carry your phone throughout the day, your behavior relates to your mood.

EmotionSense collects data from your sensors as it asks you how you feel. You can then see how your mood and the data relate to each other in the ‘Emotions’ screen.

You can unlock a new sensor as you complete your journey by answering a survey about how you have felt recently.

What data are collected exactly by this app?

This app collects data from your phone’s sensors, including your location, microphone, accelerometer, and phone call/SMS interaction patterns. The app doesn’t store any audio clips and phone numbers. The data collected remains private and are securely stored.

About the privacy, only the members of moodsense research team will be accessing your data to research about mood and sensor data. You can access those data belonging to you, and you can let them know if any data that you would like to see removed.

So the data collection is an ongoing one as long as you have the app installed, to opt out the only way is to uninstall the app.

The user would just have the app installed on their phone, (at the moment its available for android only) and answers the questions whenever they feel like. You can skip it, but for accurate results you need to cooperate with the app.

App’s First Run

emotionsense-home-screenWhen Emotionsense is ran for the first time, It shows privacy stuffs and what information the app collects. It then gives a quick tour on the Affect grid. It then asks a few questions like, how happy are you with your life? have you got all the important things in your life? and so on.

Then the app’s home screen(image on the right) is displayed from where you can log in your emotions whenever you want by tapping the “How do you feel?”.

You can input the demographics data about you for the app to understand you better from the ‘profile’ screen. It does all the calculation with your phone data behind the scenes sending and receiving data, to and from their server. You can track that as well from your ‘profile’ screen.

The questions are asked as soon as you log your emotion on the Affect grid. You can set the notification when to receive, and maximum number per day by going to profile > Application settings.


While Moodtunes has its prototype ready to come up with an app soon to treat depression, Mirror publication thinks EmotionSense could be a pocket therapist. You get to track all your emotion and see it on a grid, I am yet to see any responses from their side, as I am not sure how the automated assessment works. But at the first look EmotionSense looks promising, and I never saw an app before that helps me track how I feel. I feel happy and I got a reason to log into Emotionsense now.

You can download the app from here

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