After seeing all sorts of patent applications getting passed, we wouldn't be surprised if someone actually placed one for, say, air and breathing, so we couldn't resist wording the title like that.
Samsung isn't literally trying to patent emotions. Besides the fact that it would be completely absurd for that to happen, it isn't quite possible either.
More likely would be for this or that corporation to patent each emotion individually and then have people pay royalties for experiencing them, maybe as part of our already overbearing taxes.
In all seriousness though, Samsung has placed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for a technology that can recognize what people are feeling.
The method recognizes so-called action units (AUs), which are components of a facial action coding system designed to reference the contraction of facial muscles.
There are 30 AUs in number and they can combine into a string that has to be detected by an unmentioned Samsung technology and matched to an emotion label.
A processor and memory would be necessary for all this, and probably a camera sensor too, although the patent application doesn't specify that last bit for some reason.
We aren't all that surprised to see something like this cropping up, just like we aren't shocked by the other patent filed by Samsung.
Long story short, the company has been thinking of robots that can replace road-crossing guards.
Infrared, proximity sensors, devices that handle wireless communication between traffic lights and other robots, all would somehow work cohesively to help people cross the street or at least know when it's safe to make a run for it.
The patent also specified that the robots would have to be designed with reflective properties no different from those sported by guard attire.
We're pretty sure robot crossing guards are likely to be the first to become reality, but we've seen stranger things than emotional recognition outpacing them. Or maybe they'll combine into robo-guides that will smile at you when you're down.