Feeds

BT boffins develop SMS ‘with feelings’

Sub-Text

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

BT has developed new technology that takes mobile messaging from the arena of 2D photo messages and voice clips to another level where "actual emotions can be conveyed between family and friends in a physical and tactile way".

The research by BT Exact, BT's research business, allows interactive toys to be linked to mobile phones so that SMS communication can be displayed through the toys' actions. This enables the texting experience to become more personable and fun, according to BT Exact.

The team is currently collaborating with a number of leading toy manufacturers to produce interactive SMS prototypes of some of their most popular toys. A receiver device embedded in the toy would activate an action on receipt of a message relayed to it over a short range wireless link by an associated mobile phone.

The researchers say these prototypes will "create a more natural and tangible mode of communicating for adults and children, which will encourage more imaginative text messaging". The interactive toys are tuned in to their owners' mobile phone so that, whenever an emotional graphic symbol (or emoticon) is sent, the toy displays the emotion that has been communicated.

Wag the dog

For example, if a happy symbol was sent to a toy dog it would come to life and start barking. Alternatively a love message could be sent to a teddy bear, which would trigger its heart to glow and become warm to the touch.

The idea is that a recipient of the emoticon can sense the actual meaning of the message that has been sent from their friend or partner. In this way it's hoped the technology could be applied to make the messaging experience more fun and tangible.

Bling, bling

This exploration into SMS and interactive toys can also be applied to other areas such as clothing and jewellery.

Emoticons could also be sent to wearable computers embedded in jewellery. These could then change the colour of the jewellery to show the mood of the sender.

When messages are sent to people's phones and they are wearing emoticon-enabled clothing the recipients could actually receive a hug as the vest would grow warm and constrict, reproducing the physical sensations of a real hug.

Boffins at BT Exact foresee endless applications for the technology: anything from a new breed of executive toys that give out physical reminders to pet substitutes for the elderly, which could "remind them to take their medication at specific times or let them know that someone is thinking about them".

Bless.

These pets could also be linked to a phone's caller ID so that a person's toy dog would have different barks depending on who was calling.

The toys would be sophisticated enough to develop their own personalities based on the type of messages that they received.

Rebecca Capper, new concepts designer in BT Exact's emerging technologies lab, said: "Interactive messaging and SMS toys can not only give people a real sense and feel of how their friends and relatives are feeling but will also demonstrate how they are feeling about you. The first range of SMS toys won't just be about fun but will bring emotional messaging to the fore and ultimately it will become a more multi-sensory way of staying in touch. These devices will enable you to feel closer to those you care about.

"It takes SMS messaging into a new and exciting realm," she added. ®

Related Stories

Robosnail: Science or sex toy?
Star Destroyer case mod brings PC under Imperial heel
Fast enough to overtake SMS and IM?
Dogblogs promise canine liberation
Tech savvy are gagging for 3G

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.