[Cyborg] [Noisebridge-discuss] Wearable skin galvanic response indicator

Sai Emrys noisebridge at saizai.com
Thu Jul 23 02:59:51 UTC 2009

On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 2:50 PM, Micah Zuorski<mzuorski at gmail.com> wrote:
> Might want to be careful where you wear it, it could help muggers size up
> whether or not you're nervous / easy to roll.

Like with "lie detectors", it wouldn't work well. Someone being amped
could mean fear or could mean fighting adrenaline; being neutral could
mean unawareness or could mean they're sufficiently hardcore to not
give get pumped any more (though I suspect this is unlikely). Just no
easy way to interpret what it means in terms of mental state.

Now if only we had portable fMRI... :-P

On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 2:21 PM, Crutcher Dunnavant<crutcher at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm not talking about sexual arousal, the devices can't distinguish
> that. Just, how excited is the wearer?

FWIW: The devices normally used to measure sexual arousal are a) a
penis girth sensing ring or b) a vaginal wetness detector.

> If the device pulsed with the heart rate, and maybe emited some escalating sound with higher levels
> of arousal, a group of people wearing these could essentially
> construct an impromptu rave anywhere they decided to dance; with some
> nice feedback properties.

IMHO, a simple line of lights (or something continuous like my
mythical variable-length EL wire) would be best from a perception
perspective - easiest to easily tell and monitor at a glance what
their state is.

(Essentially: humans mostly suck at comparing sound, light, and color
levels other than VERY simple comparisons, but are excellent at
comparing line lengths. Add something that requires time, like a beat,
and it becomes unglanceable also. Cf. Tufte, Visual Display of
Quantitative Information.)

If you want it to have an actual feedback property (e.g. to help sync
the heartrate of viewers?), then you'd probably want it to beat so
that it gives a more direct hook to the viewer's heartrate; I'm not
aware of research re whether this actually works, but it seems an
eminently empirical and easily tested question. I dunno what'd be good
for a rave, as it's not my thing.

But mind, I'm definitely a lover Tufte-style design - optimized for
no-frills transmission of salient information. I'm sure people who are
more into more artistic stuff will find my concept of optimality to be
kinda boring.

On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 10:21 AM, Jean Rintoul<jean.rintoul at gmail.com> wrote:
> This site has some cool GSR related products:
> http://www.mindgrowth.com/store/

Very interesting. I wonder if their GSR2 could be ripped apart to use
wrist mounted sensors (would it work as well as fingers?), coin cell
batteries, and a light display instead of sound.

> You could just make your own metal plates and hook them into the unit.
> The GSR units from Mindgrowth output an audio signal which you could patch
> through to something like this:

That seems kinda complicated; wouldn't the audio circuitry be
redundant (and thus waste power & space)?

> There are also instructions to make one from scratch:
> http://instruct1.cit.cornell.edu/courses/ee476/FinalProjects/s2006/hmm32_pjw32/index.html

Also very interesting.

I suspect that for my purposes, you could moot some of the more
complex stuff they have - all you need is a vaguely linearized and
baselined single output, not precise measurements, event detection,
etc. A bracelet could have a lot of slop in the system and still do
what it needs to. I'll ping 'em.

- Sai

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