Innovation That Matters

The speaker is linked to a dedicated app, allowing users to talk to the speaker with their phones in real time | Photo source 수경 김

AI speaker and app for those living alone could aid mental health

Health & Wellbeing

The concept design involves a device with which users can engage in conversation and which will monitor for signs of depression

Spotted: A student at Konkuk University has proposed a concept design for a speaker that could help people who live alone feel less lonely, by engaging in conversation and monitoring signs of depression. 

The device, which would be called “Cholong”, is a simple cylindrical AI speaker that interacts with users through conversation. 

The speaker is linked to a dedicated app, allowing users to talk to the speaker with their phones in real-time. The application has various functions such as “Emotional Analysis”, “Empathy” and “Propose”. 

If Cholong senses that the user could be depressed during a conversation, it will encourage them to carry out a depression self-diagnosis to check their symptoms. With ‘View Results’, users can then realise how severe their depression could be. 

In the case of depression, the speaker will also forward the user to talk to a nearby specialist and make a simple appointment after the examination. 

The designer, 수경 김, says that Cholong’s most special feature will be its personality: “Fun, talkative, casual, and active AI speakers can be friends with you. Sometimes as a sympathetic friend, sometimes as a doctor who gives you a hard advice to go to the hospital, and one day as a specialist, it’s a medium”.

Cholong, which is only still a concept, is currently nominated as a finalist for the 2021 James Dyson Awards. 

Written By: Katrina Lane

Explore more: Health & Wellbeing Innovations | Computing & Tech Innovations

Website: jamesdysonaward.org

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