New Phone App Warns of Angry Messages

A new app coming for Android phones gives users fair warning about the tone of messages they are about to read, giving them, the AFP Newswire via the Mother Nature Network, reports, the ability to gird themselves before jumping in. Mail Online says that the app will help reduce stress by letting users arrange their messages by their emotional content so that they can read those that are angry or nasty when they are more fully ready and able to deal with them.

Computer scientists working at the University of Portsmouth, the AFP says, have integrated text recognition software with algorithms that are able to pick out words or phrases commonly used when people are angry, upset or are just being mean. The result was then programmed into a phone application for use by anyone with an Android enabled Smart phone. The app, called “Stress@Work” is expected to be posted for downloading by the end of the month.

Mail Online explains that for users, the app is simple; those messages that have an ugly tone are highlighted in red, those that are sweet and happy are shown in green, while those that are mostly innocuous are shown in blue.

The idea its makers told the AFP, is to give people some warning before reading a message. Quite often, those that receive angry, insulting or demeaning messages are shocked which causes the blood pressure to lower at first, then to rise when anger creeps in; such swings in blood pressure in combination with other physical reactions causes a lot of wear and tear on the body in the form of stress, which can weaken the immune system and over time lead to cardiovascular disease or even strokes. To reduce the impact of such messages, the team developed the color coded system to give message recipients time to comport themselves before reading a message that might upset them. That lead time they say, allows the body to get ready and thus the amount of stress is reduced.

Mail Online says the new app could likely help people who read less than happy message while at work. Knowing the tone will be angry lets employees better handle the stress that results and then to respond in a more professional manner.

The researchers also told the AFP that they are still hammering out the details of how to get the app to learn more as it goes by allowing users to grade the color coding. Over time, the system should get better and better, allowing users to learn to trust that the warnings it issues are correct.

By susan