‘Mood phone’ wins Moto prize

John Finan, a US graduate student, has won the grand prize in Motorola’s first-ever MOTOFWRD competition with a neat-sounding ‘Mood Phone’.

Designed to improve social interactions, especially for people who suffer from Asberger’s Syndrome, the phone’ would light up with colour tones – from warm reds to cool blues – based on the verbal patterns of everyday speech received through the handset.

That would give the user some clues to interpret the mood and inflection communicated through the words and phrases they hear, exactly the kind of thing that people with mild forms of autism find difficult.

Finan’s prizes were a Bluetooth-enabled BMW, a clutch of Motorola products, and $10,000. He’ll also get an apprenticeship with Motorola’s Chief Technology Office researching next-generation mobile technology.