By: Ashley McManus, Marketing Manager; featuring Sumesh Dugar, Founder & CEO of Webbies, Inventor of True Emoji Key
Emotion recognition technology will play a significant role in how we interact with our devices in the coming years. Much like our phones have chips that determine location, we believe that “emotion chips” are on the horizon and will improve the way in which we communicate with technology. This functionality will add a much-needed layer of emotional intelligence to our communications, which will bring a day with more “human” interactions with the world around us – not just in bots and apps but with each other as well.
True Emoji Key, an Affectiva user, is the ultimate emotional intelligence app that will help bridge the gap between humans and machines. It will help in promoting better and faster communication with our devices, by facilitating them to understand and read our facial expressions and access specific content/features as a result of that. They currently have a set of eleven ‘True Emojis’ which will help in bringing virtual characters to life. It is a Google Entrepreneurs awarded app, tried and tested to make people happier by making it easier for devices to display content based on the current emotional state of its users.
We interviewed True Emoji Key’s maker, Sumesh Dugar, on how the app works, the process of developing it, and what he thinks is the future of emotion-enabled applications.
1) What’s the pitch for your app? (Why should someone download it?)
The Internet has created a huge divide between emotions and communications. How many times have you ROFLed with a straight face? How many times have you shown surprise just by sending an emoticon? Our life has become a series of straight faces staring at the mobile screen. True Emoji Key was created with the intention of bridging this divide. It is time to take virtual communication to the next level.
2) What does True Emoji Key do and how does it work?
True Emoji Key is an app which reads your emotion, recognizes it and clicks your picture with the appropriate emoji. This is then used to create a personalized emoji keyboard which can be used in all your message conversations to show your true emotion. The days of blank stares at phone screens is numbered.
3) Where did you get the idea to build True Emoji Key?
Everywhere you turn, there is this huge discussion about the loss of human touch in social communication. It is like we are turning more and more into pre-programmed robots every passing second. I hail from Kolkata, which is often referred to as the ‘City of Joy’. It is a very expressive city. One can feel the waves of emotion passing through it during different seasons, different festivals as well as different points of the day. As I moved from the real world to the virtual world everyday, my city made me feel what communication is lacking at the present. Thus bloomed the idea of True Emoji Key and this place prodded me on to develop it faster.
4) What role does emotion and emotion technology play in the concept of your app?
It is the very crux of the app. The entire concept revolves around emotions and emotional technology. The idea is to bring real time emotions on the internet front.
5) How did you arrive at Affectiva’s technology to help achieve your app’s vision? How did the SDK help you?
We had already been working on the technology for six months when we came across Affectiva through the omniscient God we call the Internet. We realized the importance of this discovery very quickly and got in touch with their team. Affectiva helped us in covering what would have taken us years to build. It became a very strong catalyst in the development of True Emoji Key as it stands today.
6) What is the next step for True Emoji?
At the moment, we are looking to spread the word, make people aware of how True Emoji Key can enhance virtual conversations and creating a strong and widespread user-base. We have a few other ideas for the app which we would like to develop according to the feedback we receive.
7) Do you have any other advice for those looking to build apps of their own?
Never, ever, ever, ever give up. No matter how difficult it gets, no matter how long it takes. If you believe in your idea, be obstinate, stand your ground and complete your journey. Hardwork and perseverance always pay off in some form or the other.
About True Emoji Key
True Emoji Key is an app which takes technology from artificial intelligence to emotional intelligence. It will bring real time emotions to your fingertips. True Emoji is the brainchild of Sumesh Dugar and has been awarded at 10000 Startups by Google for Entrepreneurs, and was recently featured on Beta List. The full version will be available for smart phones very soon, but you can sign up for beta access at the True Emoji website, or just take a look around to learn more: http://trueemoji.com/