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Compact Stress Meter provides checkups from the comfort of your cubicle (video)

Amar Toor, @amartoo

Chances are you don't need a machine to know that the office stresses you out, but if you've ever felt an urge to actually quantify the toll your boss takes on your body, the Compact Stress Meter could be your new best buddy. Developed by researchers at Tokyo Metropolitan University, this system uses a pulse wave sensor and infrared reflective probe to measure the blood flowing through a user's fingertips, which serves as a relatively accurate stress index. All you have to do is place your finger on the sensor for ten seconds, and an accompanying computer program will automatically display your stress levels in real-time by analyzing variations in blood flow. At this point, the software and sensor are still separate, though the meter's developers have already completed a new prototype with the sensor built in to a mouse, allowing users to continuously gauge their stress while diligently working in front of their computers, or while furiously searching for a new job. Click past the break to see the meter in action for yourself.

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