What if people came with care labels? Quantified emotions

It started off as a discussion on Twitter and ended up as a blog post on Zoe’s blog.

Sometimes it’s not always easy to describe how you’re feeling. You may feel over-whelmed, worried that you might make others feel over-whelmed, just not have the words or want to avoid thinking about what it is that is really occupying your mind…

…That’s what got me started thinking about “what if people had care labels like clothes?”.

The concept of people with care labels is a fun and intriguing one. What would your care label say? But it goes deep into the quantified universe.

Are there somethings which can not be quantified? You can go down to the chemical functions, maybe even the watch the neutrons firing away but does that give you enough scope over emotion?  Zoe talks about some apps which allow you to self track mood but as someone who assigns a mood to my self reported dreams with Dreamboard. Its sometimes difficult quantifying it down to a single emotion.

I feel it would work better like a colour picker. I feel a little bit of this and a little bit of that but also a dash of the other.

So less set labels but more mixable pallets. But of course the idea of them being visible still stands. And of course the question of what other people will do once they know how you feel? This certainly would make playing hard to get… a whole different game.

Intriguing and collides right into the work Rain’s been working on, with wearables.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

6 thoughts on “What if people came with care labels? Quantified emotions”

  1. Thanks for you thoughts Ian. It’ really helpful to explore some of the issues the project throws up.

    There’s is still *lots* to consider. My theory is that that it’s easier for many people to communicate what they need e.g. tea and sympathy rather than express difficult emotions like grief or anger.

    In additional to laundry care labels I have been looking at lots of different sets of symbols used on products and services including The Highway Code and GEL icons among others for inspiration.

    So, for example, for tea and sympathy the symbol could be a cup of tea with a letter ‘S’ or a smile on it.

    In terms of quantifying, I use a tool called MoodScope (www.moodscope.com). My current thinking is that when a person takes their daily mood ‘test’ the outcome would suggest, but not define, which symbols the person might wear that day.

    It’s not a high-end QS proposition as, in it’s current form, it is not monitoring and measuring physical responses in real-time. Although there’s nothing to say that more sophisticated tech couldn’t be integrated in the future.

    Thanks again, Zoe

  2. This is an interesting concept, but as a care labels manufacturer, we see one difficulty, mainly “how would you attach the label to the person”.

    We at http://www.washcarelabels.co.uk have a great deal of experience in care labelling of many objects.
    Firstly we have a self adhesive care labels, but knowing skin as we all do, it tends to wrinkle when it gets wet and this would cause the label to become detached, not a good thing.
    We have an Iron On care label but I think most people would object to a moderately hot iron being applied to any part of their anatomy.

    Then there is the sew on care label, I don’t know about you but I am a little squeamish when it comes to having any needle put into my skin.

    I have spoken to our labelling experts and they say they will look into this problem of labelling people with care labels when they have time in 2019. So I look forward to their report (please do not hold you breath waiting for an answer)

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