Researchers at the University of Rochester have developed a computer-based app that can analyse selfie videos as the person engages with social media and monitor his or her mental health.
The device "quietly observes your behaviour" while you use the computer or phone as usual. It does not require the user to explicitly state what he or she is feeling, input any extra information or wear any special gear. For example, the team was able to measure a user's heart rate simply by monitoring very small, subtle changes in the user's forehead colour.
"The system does not grab other data that might be available through the phone - such as the user's location," said Jiebo Luo, professor of computer science.
The researchers were able to analyse the video data to extract a number of "clues" such as heart rate, blinking rate, eye pupil radius and head movement rate.