2019.12.28 11:00

Mood-measuring cameras in Vilnius say you’re happy

A camera system developed by Vilnius Gediminas Technical University has indexed the mood of passers-by based on their facial expressions, body language, temperature, and other factors.

Placed in several locations across Vilnius, the cameras are able to pick up various indicators that can measure someone’s well-being, according to Artūras Kaklauskas, a professor at VGTU and the project’s initiator.

One parameter can pick up emotions – whether someone is happy, or unhappy – while the second group of indicators focuses on whether a person is bored or feeling upbeat, and lastly, the cameras pick up body language, temperature and even breathing intensity to suggest well-being, according to Kaklauskas.

“Around 30 parameters show whether a person is happy or unhappy,” Kaklauskas tells LRT TV. Passers-by are usually downbeat on Mondays, but feel happy on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays, he says.

At the height of the economic crisis in 2010, just six percent of Lithuanians said that life in the country was improving. Meanwhile, the number jumped to 45 percent in 2019.

Today, the rise in well-being is reflected in both the official surveys and statistics, meanwhile the data gathered by researchers show that our happiness depends much more on seasonality, time of day, or other everyday conditions.

The measure of happiness also depends “on wind, sun, and [outside] temperature,” he says.

The methodology indexed body temperature and the size of the pupils to indicate “the strength of the emotion,” according to Kaklauskas. “The more the [body] temperature changes or the eye pupils increase, the stronger the emotion.”

“The young and the elerdly are usually happy.” he says.

Meanwhile, negative emotions are much stronger than the positive ones, says Kaklauskas. The researchers are only able to measure the average figures due to data protection requirements.

The biggest happiness figure is usually seen in September and the lowest in November. The yearly average, however, dismisses the stereotype of Lithuania being a grumpy nation, according to Kaklauskas.

Lithuanians are the happiest in the Baltic states, according to the World Happiness Report, which asked respondents in 150 different nations to rank their well-being from one to ten.

In Lithuania, the average life happiness was six out of ten.

The main goal of the study is to establish parameters that make people feel good in public spaces and also lead a more effective life, Kaklauskas told reporters earlier in December.