Mouse Sensors Might Stop You Rage-browsing

By Gary Cutlack on at

Researchers looking into how we behave online suggest that tracking mouse movement might be the key to keeping people happy.

According to a team at Brigham Young University, when we get angry at things like adverts, shopping baskets, broken captchas and people still talking about gamergate, our mice tend to jerk around and make shorter, sharper movements, meaning that a future "smart" web site could somehow intervene when it senses we're about to rage-close-the-tab.

Perhaps it might play a little animation of a cat and suggest making a cup of tea before continuing. That would... not help.

The researchers say there's an opposing effect seen when people browse calmly too, with mouse gestures becoming slower and more precise. The test monitored 126 people who were navigating a purposefully rubbish fake online shop, with the team claiming an 82 per cent success rate in tracking user rage by watching micro mouse wobbles.

Report author Professor Jeffrey Jenkins says: " has been very difficult to pinpoint when a user becomes frustrated, leading them to not come back to a site. Being able to sense a negative emotional response, we can adjust the website experience to eliminate stress or to offer help," which makes us think he's dreaming of selling this tech to Amazon for a couple of billion.

So don't get angry or you aim gets worse, something online gamers have known since first getting Quake to run on a LAN. [MISQ via Ars]

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