Uniform's Solo radio reads your facial expression and plays music to match your mood

26 September 2016

Uniform: Solo radio

Creative studio Uniform has made Solo, a radio that reads your facial expression and plays music according to your mood.

The “emotional radio” combines facial feature recognition software with Spotify’s music valence ratings, which attribute different moods to certain tracks. The wall-hung device has a circular screen at its centre, which takes a photo of the person standing in front of it and sends the image to a Microsoft programme that analyses facial features. This calculates an “emotional breakdown” with values of happiness, sadness and anger.

Solo translates this information into a valence rating, and uses Spotify to play a track with corresponding valence ratings, therefore matching your mood. The face on the screen also changes its expression to mirror yours.

Solo was launched at the V&A’s Digital Design Weekend as part of London Design Festival. The beautifully designed prototype is encased in wood with a bright yellow facade and stripy antenna, that is intentionally approachable, playful and engaging. According to Mike Shorter, senior creative technologist at Uniform, the idea is to prompt discussion around the creative potential of AI technology beyond data-driven service design and towards something more human.

“Solo opens up the conversation on how technologies can be broken down and mean something to people, not just the tech industry,” he says. “When you try Solo, you think not only about how technology is changing, but more importantly, how its relationship with us is changing.”


Uniform: Solo radio


Uniform: Solo radio logo

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Jenny Brewer

After five years as It’s Nice That’s news editor, Jenny became online editor in June 2021, overseeing the website’s daily editorial output.

Jenny is currently on maternity leave.

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