Social cues run our daily lives. They help us determine how to handle situations based on someone’s behavior. The oxygen levels in blood play a key role in these interactions. For example, blood rushing to someone’s face and turning it red during a conversation can indicate embarrassment. Our eyes are essentially blood-oxygen-reading cameras.

Now Mark Changizi, a theoretical neurobiologist, and also the host of the Discovery show Head Games, and theoretical computer scientist Tim Barber from 2AI Labs have developed O2Amps sunglasses to enhance this ability in humans.

The glasses work by filtering out certain parts of the color spectrum that interfere with seeing the blood-oxygen response in a person's skin, and leaving only the red-green sections. Essentially, the glasses amplify the view of what we naturally see.

On his blog, Changizi explains that the glasses could enhance social interactions, security, gambling and dating, as well as improve healthcare. In hospitals, for example, the glasses are being tested as vein finders and indicators of trauma because they make veins appear to “glow.”

2AI is hoping to bring the O2Amps to the masses soon. Not sure if a date with someone wearing pink-tinted glasses is bound to last long enough to reveal social cues, but they do seem like a good fit in the other activities.


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