April 2017

Smart Dubai Office launches ‘Vocal Emotions’ project to promote happy living

Smart Dubai Office, the government entity charged with leading Dubai’s transformation to a smart city, has signed a cooperative agreement with Smartmedical, a company pioneering ‘Vocal Emotions’ technology.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) includes research on the concept and design of ‘Vocal Emotions’ technology. ‘Vocal Emotions’ technology measures the types of emotions people are experiencing at a given moment by analyzing the tonality and other properties of their voice. According to the agreement, the two parties will cooperate in enhancing happiness in Dubai in line with the Happiness Agenda launched by Smart Dubai Office in addition to other projects of common interest.

H.E. Dr. Aisha Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office, emphasized that the agreement promotes commitment to people’s happiness at all levels. She said “After the success of implementing the Happiness Meters across the city, introducing ‘Vocal Emotions’ technology in Dubai is part of the next phase of the Happiness Agenda’s Measure portfolio. Using this technology, we now wish to have a deeper understanding of people emotions and sentiments, based on the results of which we will continue working with partners from the public and private sectors to further explore innovative ways of increasing happiness levels in the city, making Dubai the happiest city on Earth.”

“We started to develop ‘Vocal Emotions’ technology after the tsunami in Japan in 2011,” said Nozumu Shibasaki, CEO and Founder of Smartmedical. “We wanted to help the families of the victims and their caregivers ease their pain and prevent any potential mental disorders that may result from this disaster. After three years of development, we launched ‘Vocal Emotions’ in the market, which instantly became very popular due to its accuracy, high quality, and usability. It helped us to bring out a good mood among employees.”

Shibasaki added: “Japan has been a friend of the UAE for 40 years, and we are honored to work with Smart Dubai to make the emirate the world’s happiest city. I would like to thank Index Holdings, our premier partner in the UAE, for implementing this mega-project.” “Through the agreement, we aim to support the UAE Government’s directives to promote happiness and establish a positive lifestyle in the local community. The government business model is based on three pillars of a happy and positive work environment; a happy and positive attitude; and a happy and positive lifestyle. As the agent of Smartmedical, we are providing the region with the ‘Empath’ technology, developed by the firm’s IT and Communication Department. This technology recognizes and measures different emotions such as happiness, sadness and anger, whatever the language of the speaker, by analyzing the multiple physical properties of the voice such as the tone, sharpness, rhythm, strength and vocal layer,” concluded Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Chairman of INDEX Holding.