A screenshot of "Love Dectector."
A screenshot of "Love Dectector." The more petals on the daisy, the hotter the passion. If the love level is negative, the daisy starts to wilt.
updated 2/12/2004 6:26:30 PM ET 2004-02-12T23:26:30

Does she love me? Does she even care? Voice-analysis software based on Israeli counterterrorism technology professes to tell you in an instant whether that special someone is interested.

And just in time for Valentine's Day!

Love Detector, put out by a small New York-based company, provides a convenient readout of the emotional temperature of a conversation on a scale from five (a love that would shame Romeo and Juliet) to minus one (a statue could have warmer feelings).

Connect your phone to a Windows PC running the $49.95 Love Detector, and the program will rate the amount of love in the voice of whomever you talk to. You'll also need a special $14.95 phone connector, which only works with regular, non-cordless phones.

On the computer screen, the love level is presented by a daisy. The more petals on the daisy, the hotter the passion. If the love level is negative, the daisy starts to wilt. The program also gauges the level of embarrassment and concentration in the call.

The program runs 8,000 mathematical formulas to divine 16 emotional parameters. If you thought love was complicated, there's your proof.

Does it work? Well, it's probably better than the traditional "loves-me, loves-me-not" daisy. I tested it surreptitiously on some people I talked to on the phone, and it sure didn't give any false positives (the daisy petal-pulling method is known to have a 50 percent rate of false positives).

If the Love Detector really works, my girlfriend is in trouble. The best I got out of her was one petal on the daisy, and that was when she wanted something from me. Other times, my daisy drooped. Honey, we need to talk.

But seriously, the Love Detector is not intended to gauge relationships, just that initial "butterflies-in-the-stomach" feeling. Lacking a reliable source of butterflies, I couldn't test it fully.

V Entertainment, the manufacturer, says the detector is 96 percent accurate and works in any language and culture. At the same time, V Entertainment cautions that the detector is only for entertainment purposes.

There's also a $19.95 Love Detector for handheld computers running the Pocket PC operating system. These personal digital assistants, or PDAs, generally have a built-in microphone, so you won't be tethered to the phone. However, monitoring the PDA screen while talking to a love interest could cause your embarrassment level to spike to, say, three.

The Love Detector is based on lie-detection software developed by Nemesysco Ltd. of Israel.

V Entertainment is trying to take this less romantic technology to U.S. law enforcement, government agencies and insurance companies.

CEO Rich Parton sees other possible applications for emotion-sensing software in, for instance, robotic dogs and Internet-connected refrigerators that could provide a recipe appropriate to your mood. (Feeling down? Make some brownies!)

V Entertainment is also planning to sell lie-detecting eyeglasses, with a microphone built into the bridge. I'm sure they'll go over great on a date.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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