Moods and Modes

Exploring the possibilities of adapting our technology to our moods.

So far, we don't have too many settings on our phones that let us set the tone for our interactions. You have Airplane Mode (ah, remember airplanes?) where you can deactivate your internet connection. This can make you feel bored or even powerless. It can also be immensely freeing. There's Driving Mode which cuts off texts so you won't get in an accident. There's Night Mode that alters the blue light which has been shown to disrupt sleep.

Image of toggle button with emoticon.

But what if we have other modes for our phones that could match our moods? Perhaps you would have Gentle Morning Mode where your notifications mimicked birds singing to ease you into the day. Or maybe there would be Party Mode, for when you feel like celebrating, which randomly connected you with someone you hadn't texted in a week.

We asked hundreds of people from around the world to invent new modes that could match their moods, even detecting those moods from their location, pulse rate, or other data. The results were surprising. A craving for calm is counterbalanced by a need for serendipity and vicarious experience. The hope of more privacy is just as strong as the longing for intimacy and warmth.