Each KOTOHANA set consists of two flower-shaped terminals equipped with LEDs that change color according to the emotions of the person who owns the counterpart. Each flower contains a microphone that captures voice data for processing, the results of which are sent via wireless LAN to the other terminal, where it is expressed as LED light.
KOTOHANA's Sensibility Technology (ST) emotion recognition engine, which was developed by SGI Japan with the cooperation of AGI, detects joy, sorrow, calmness and excitement in speech patterns. Happiness is expressed as yellow, sadness as blue, calmness as green, and excitement as red. Changing emotions are expressed through subtle color gradations and variations in light brightness.
The product is still in the prototype stage, with the ST engine running on a separate computer connected to KOTOHANA. NEC plans to showcase KOTOHANA at CeBIT, the international trade show for information and telecommunications technology to be held from March 9 to 15 in Hannover, Germany.