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OPLIN 4cast #470: Know-it-all mice

Posted in 4cast

mouse selecting file folderYour Christmas celebration is over and you’ve hauled in a nifty new gadget, and eaten too much fruit cake, and maybe drunk a few too many toasts, and now you want to play around with your new gadget, but the setup instructions seem to have been translated from Chinese by someone who only studied English for three months one time years ago, and nothing seems to be working right, and you’re starting to lose your cool, and you’re seriously thinking about climbing up the chimney to give Santa a piece of your mind, but fortunately you’re in the privacy of your own home, and nobody ever needs to know about this disturbing melt-down, right? Um, well… Does that new gadget happen to be the type of device that has a mouse?

  • Websites may soon know if you’re mad—a little mouse will tell them (Ars Technica | Beth Mole)  “From three different experiments, researchers found that Internet users who became frustrated, confused, or upset while online tended to move their cursor sporadically and less precisely, instead of in smooth strokes. Perturbed users also tended to navigate their mouse more slowly, not faster as some might expect.”
  • Websites could read emotions by seeing how fast you move your mouse (The Telegraph)  “‘It’s counter-intuitive; people might think, “When I’m frustrated I start using the mouse faster,”’ said Jeffrey Jenkins, the lead author of the study. ‘Well, no, you actually start moving slower.’ Jenkins tested the theory by making test subjects angry and tracking their mouse movements. He riled them up with a timed test that had purposefully slow loading times, and that penalised the subjects for a wrong answer. To top it off, the test told subjects that a bad score was equal to low intelligence.”
  • Your computer mouse knows when you’re angry (Fortune | Hilary Brueck)  “By monitoring 270 users around the globe in real-time, researchers found that they could predict negative emotions like frustration, sadness, fear and depression with more than 80% accuracy. The researchers tracked people as they moved their mice while completing tasks on the computer like paying bills or doing research.”
  • Web analytics are about to get seriously next level with emotion tracking (The Next Web | Bryan Clark)  “The findings open the door to the next level of advanced analytics that seem destined for mainstream use in the near future. As big data, machine learning and advanced AI continue making strides, it’s only a matter of time before we find other, more creative ways to gather web data on user behavior.”

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