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'EmoBracelet' tells traders when they need a time-out

Biometric-style emotion-sensing system supposedly alerts frazzled day traders when it might be smart to take a breath and step away from the Charles Schwab site.

EmoBracelet and EmoBowl
The Rationalizer system is aimed at serious traders, but we don't see why it couldn't be used by others as well.
Philips Electronics

Has all that online stock trading landed you in trouble? Philips Design has come up with a product for frazzled day traders--and no, it's not software that locks you out of your computer when you place a buy order for Nokia.

It's a biometric-style emotion-sensing system that supposedly alerts traders when it might be wise to take a breath and step away from the Charles Schwab site.

The Rationalizer system consists of the EmoBracelet and corresponding EmoBowl. The bracelet measures the user's emotional arousal level through a skin response sensor and displays the findings as a dynamic light pattern on either the bracelet itself or the nearby, rather cool-looking bowl. As your emotions intensify, so does the light pattern, which speeds up and shifts color from soft yellow to orange to deep red--alerting you and everyone else who pops in the room that you're turning into a basket case.

Philips Electronics

The parties behind the Emo gadgets say they were inspired by research showing that home investors don't act purely rationally. "Their behavior is influenced by emotions, most notably fear and greed, which can compromise their ability to take an objective, factual stance," reads a statement announcing the product.

The concept device comes out of the Dialogues Incubator, an initiative founded in 2007 by Dutch bank ABN AMRO to bring new ideas to market. The Rationalizer--much like the mWave Personal Stress Reliever, Cocoro Meter, and SensDevice mouse that came before it--is meant to serve as a kind of emotion/stress signpost, since many regard awareness as the first step to reducing tension and altering behavior.

Then again, we'd hope most people would have a clue they're a bit close to the edge before the red lights start flashing.