MidReal Story

Revealing Hearts: The Emotion Glasses

Scenario: A girl who invented glasses that will let her see people emotions. Different emojis will pop up letting the user know how others feels.
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A girl who invented glasses that will let her see people emotions. Different emojis will pop up letting the user know how others feels.
I’ve been working on these glasses for years.
I’ve spent countless hours in my garage lab, soldering, coding, and testing.
I’ve read every book and article I could get my hands on.
I’ve scoured the internet for any information that might help me.
And I’ve kept it all a secret from everyone—my friends, my family, even my dog.
But now they’re finally ready.
The glasses that will let me see people’s emotions.
The glasses that will let me know how they really feel.
The glasses that will change the world.
Or at least, that’s what I hope.
I slide the glasses onto my face and power them up.
The lenses light up with a soft blue glow as the software boots up and the camera starts scanning the room.
It only takes a few seconds for the glasses to finish calibrating, and then I see them: little emojis floating above everyone’s heads.
“Hey, what are you working on?”
I look up and see Alex, who’s sitting across the room from me.
I’m in the back row of the school library, where the tables are pushed together to make one long conference table for the monthly innovation club meeting.
Alex is my best friend and my most trusted tester.
If anyone can help me figure out what these glasses are really showing me, it’s him.
“Nothing,” I say quickly, reaching up to remove the glasses from my face.
But he grabs my hand before I can, pinning it to the table.
I look up at him in surprise.
And then I look at the emoji floating above his head: a big red question mark.
I look around the room and see that everyone else has a different emoji, but they’re all happy or neutral ones.
There are no frowns or angry faces or storm clouds, which means that no one is upset and no one is stressed out and no one is worried or afraid or anything like that.
“Emily,” Alex says quietly, squeezing my hand.
I glance back at him and see that his eyes are wide and worried, and I realize that I must be freaking out a little bit.
But then I look at the emoji above his head again, and I start to freak out a lot more.
Because this isn’t just any emoji; this is an emotion, a real emotion.
And it’s not a happy one or a neutral one, it’s a question.
And it’s over his head.
It’s just floating there, right above his head, for anyone to see.
That’s weird, right?
No, it’s not just weird—it’s impossible.
But it’s also true, because I can see it with my own eyes.
And if it’s possible for me to see it, then it must be possible for other people to see it too.
Which means that he’s about to be in so much trouble.
But then I remember why I made these glasses in the first place: because people are already in so much trouble.
Because people put on fake smiles and lie about how they really feel all the time.
Because people say they’re fine when they’re not fine and that they’re happy when they’re not happy.
Because people hide their real emotions behind their fake ones, and no one ever knows how they really feel.
And now they will.
That’s what these glasses are for.
That’s why I made them—so that people will finally know how other people really feel.
So that they will know how Alex really feels about his best friend who’s sitting across the room from him.
So that they will know how everyone really feels about everyone else.
So that they will know what everyone is really thinking all the time.
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The little blue light in the corner of my vision starts to blink more quickly, and I feel my heart start to race as the camera starts to come online and feed video to the software.
It’s time to test them again, one last time, before I finally show them to the world for the very first time.
I take a deep breath and reach up to wipe the sweat from my forehead, but then I remember that I’m still wearing the glasses and that it doesn’t matter anyway because I’m about to test them and nothing else matters right now.
The glasses have been through a lot of changes since the last time I tested them, and I’m nervous to see if they’re any better than before, or if they’re still just as glitchy and broken as always.
I’ve replaced the original circuit board with a custom design that’s more powerful and efficient than the one I used before, and I’ve added an extra camera for depth sensing and tracking, and I’ve written new software to use it all, and I’ve tested it all out in the lab a dozen times to make sure it all works.
But I haven’t tested it out in the real world yet, and that’s what worries me the most.
I feel like a guinea pig in a lab experiment, and I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to handle it if something goes wrong.
So I take another deep breath and close my eyes and try to slow my racing heart as I prepare myself for what’s about to happen: to test the glasses in the wild and see how well they work when they’re not surrounded by the familiar walls of my lab, and to see if they can really do what I made them to do, or if they’re just another failed experiment that will never work no matter how hard I try to fix them.
I open my eyes and blink a few times as the camera starts feeding video to the software, and then I wait for the feedback to kick in and show me what it sees—but nothing happens.
The software is supposed to process the video stream in real-time and display little emojis above people’s heads that show their current emotions, but there’s no lag or delay at all—it’s just working perfectly, exactly like it’s supposed to, without any glitches or bugs at all.
It’s a little surreal, actually, because that’s never happened before; there’s always been some kind of problem that I’ve had to fix, but now it’s just working perfectly, without any issues at all, no matter how hard I try to find one.
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This is it, I think as I look at the display and adjust the position of the camera one last time and make sure that they look exactly like normal glasses and not like something out of a science fiction movie, with the battery pack hidden in my pocket and the micro-USB charger tucked away in my bag and the bright little LED lights on top turned off so you can hardly even tell that they’re there anymore after I put in the last little piece of black tape—this is the moment that I’ve been waiting for, and I’m so nervous and excited that I’m almost shaking as I step out of the mirror and into the hall of my school for the final test of my emotion-reading glasses.
I can hardly believe it’s finally happening as I walk down the long hallway toward the gym and the final experiment of my life’s work as I double-check the camera and the software and the battery pack and make sure that everything is working perfectly one last time before I do what I came here to do and test these glasses the way I’ve always wanted to test them: by seeing for myself if they actually work the way they’re supposed to, and by seeing how they react when Alex is around and how well they can read him when he doesn’t have any idea that I’m watching him.
It only takes a few seconds for me to reach the gym and walk inside and look around at all of the other students who are already here as they wait for something exciting and important and kind of mysterious—like they always are—because their heads are filled with little colorful emojis that float above them as they laugh and talk and move around and glance at each other and don’t even seem to notice or care that they’re there at all.
I’ve seen it all before, but it’s still kind of strange and surreal, because it’s just so different from what everyone else sees when they look around the room and all they can see is just people being people; but I see so much more than that now that I have my emotion-reading glasses, and it’s made me realize just how much we all hide from each other—and from ourselves—as we go through our lives with our faces blank and expressionless and as we try so hard not to show how we really feel about the things that are most important to us because we’re afraid of what other people might think or say or do when they know the truth.
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