No more drowning your sorrows in beer or two-week-old Chinese leftovers.
The University of Tokyo has created a new device designed to be used on everyday appliances, such as refrigerators, to encourage smiling. Research shows that smiling has a positive impact on one’s mental health. According to William James, you don’t smile because you are happy, rather, you are happy because you smile. The “Happiness Counter” combines facial recognition technology, developed by Sony Corporation, user feedback, and network communication to require people to smile before opening an appliance.
This product is designed for people who live alone, such as elderly folk, who may be unable to realize when they are unhappy. The physical effects of smiling reinforces a happy mental state, and this device provides more opportunities for users to smile throughout their day.
The current prototype makes it difficult to open a refrigerator without smiling first. But if the user smiles beforehand, the refrigerator will open smoothly. The creators hope that this product can be implemented in doors, mirrors, smartphones, and other appliances to encourage people to smile more often and use these devices with more affection.
The “Happiness Counter” was awarded the “Good Design Award for 2012” and the “2012 GOOD DESIGN Best100.”
More fake smiles for us all!