Phone app may measure user's stress level

Aug. 20, 2012 at 5:00 PM

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Software to detect stress from the patterns in your voice may soon help your smartphone tell you where and when you're having a bad day, U.S. researchers say.

StressSense, developed by researchers at Intel in Santa Clara, Calif., is a smartphone app intended to tell you where you encounter the most stress, NewScientist.com reported.

The app first analyzes a person's unstressed voice as they relax and read a 3-minute passage from a book, for example, into their phone.

StressSense can compare this recording to its preprogrammed information on physiological changes that come with stress, such as an increased speech rate and changes in the frequency spectrum.

It then logs instances of stress it detects in the speaker's voice, no matter when or where the user is.

"Our stress model also adapts to different background noise environments," Intel researcher Hong Lu said.

Users can choose to have StressSense listen to their voice throughout the day, or only when they are having a conversation on their phone, researchers said.

It is hoped the app will boost awareness of everyday events that cause stress and help users cope, Lu said.

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