New phone app can detect stress-inducing messages


A new mobile phone app can predict the tone of incoming messages before a user reads them so that they are not caught off guard by angry or hostile words.

The Android phone app ‘Stress@Work’, created at the University of Portsmouth, colour codes messages so people have time to prepare themselves, avoiding the shock of suddenly reading a nasty message sent via Facebook, Twitter or text.

Nice messages are colour-coded green, while negative messages are designated red, and neutral messages blue.

Senior lecturer Mohamed Gaber said the ‘ultimate objective’ of the app was to ensure that people are made aware of when they will receive negative content ‘so they are able to manage their stress in the best possible way.’

‘Whether we are reading a worrying social media news story or a warning email from our manager, messages can upset mood and increase stress level, just as good news and encouraging emails can cheer you up,’ he said.

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