Wearable technologies for mental workload, stress, and emotional state assessment during working‐like tasks: A comparison with laboratory technologies

Andrea Giorgi, Vincenzo Ronca, Alessia Vozzi, Nicolina Sciaraffa, Antonello Di Florio, Luca Tamborra, Ilaria Simonetti, Pietro Aricò, Gianluca Di Flumeri, Dario Rossi, Gianluca Borghini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The capability of monitoring user’s performance represents a crucial aspect to improve safety and efficiency of several human‐related activities. Human errors are indeed among the major causes of work‐related accidents. Assessing human factors (HFs) could prevent these accidents through specific neurophysiological signals’ evaluation but laboratory sensors require highly-specialized operators and imply a certain grade of invasiveness which could negatively interfere with the worker’s activity. On the contrary, consumer wearables are characterized by their ease of use and their comfortability, other than being cheaper compared to laboratory technologies. Therefore, wearable sensors could represent an ideal substitute for laboratory technologies for a real‐time assessment of human performances in ecological settings. The present study aimed at assessing the reliability and capability of consumer wearable devices (i.e., Empatica E4 and Muse 2) in discriminating specific mental states compared to laboratory equipment. The electrooculographic (EOG), electrodermal activity (EDA) and photoplethysmographic (PPG) signals were acquired from a group of 17 volunteers who took part to the experimental protocol in which different working scenarios were simulated to induce different levels of mental workload, stress, and emotional state. The results demonstrated that the parameters computed by the consumer wearable and laboratory sensors were positively and significantly correlated and exhibited the same evidences in terms of mental states discrimination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2332
JournalSensors
Volume21
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2021

Keywords

  • Emotional state
  • Eye blinks rate
  • Heart rate
  • Mental workload
  • Skin conductance level
  • Stress
  • Wearable device

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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