And Now, With "MoodScope" App, Your Phone Can Sense Your Mood

Who needs self-reflection when there's an app for that?

A new mood-sensing app from Microsoft and Houston's Rice University can fill you in on your current emotion, and nine times out of ten it'll be accurate. "MoodScope" doesn't even need to read your texts, listen to the tone of your voice, or read your facial expressions — there are other apps for that, and they're battery-draining and, uh, a little creepy. Nope, this one just quietly checks out the kind of data you've used on your smartphone, and bingo! There's your mood!

The program views "mood" as separate from "emotion": mood is longer-term and less sporadic. For example: "You're feeling worried today." "You're fresh and buoyant today." "You're looking forward to season 3 of Girls today." (Well, we're speculating.)

Every three hours, using less than one percent of your battery life, the app will examine who you've contacted and using what means (calling, texting, WhatsApp-ing, whatever,) where you are, what websites you're on, and what apps you're playing with. After that, it just knows. And like a faithful pet, MoodScope become more attuned to your mood as it gets to know you.

At present, MoodScope exists on two platforms: on your phone, to collect the data, and on a cloud website to store and monitor it. You can "share" your mood with your friends already, but, as a lone third-party app, MoodScope is just a cool way to record and monitor what you're feeling and when. If it proves popular enough, it could link up with all sorts of other apps and devices — and that's where everything gets kinda Minority Report.

Let's say your online profile — Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr — includes a real-time link to your mood. If you have a history of psychiatric problems, for example, could a low enough score require a professional to step in? Can your boss see that you're hungover, or your ex notice that you've been in a foul mood since he posted those Facebook photos of himself with his new girlfriend?

And what of devices? Maybe your TV will set itself to Game Of Thrones if you're feeling low, or your lights dim if you're having a self-conscious day. Even if you don't choose to share your mood, the data exists, and if Edward Snowden has taught us anything, it's that data is there forever and might well be used at any point, for anything.

And we know from Tom Cruise and Will Smith movies that this is bad.

We don't know about you, but we totally miss Nokia right now.

(Image: Flickr/Kevin)