The days of undivided attention in front of the television are no more (unless, of course, Scandal is on). With multiple devices vying for our attention, our engagement with content has become less than devoted. For example, how many of you are Tweeting out your latest Instagram masterpiece on your phone while sitting in front the TV with your laptop open?! Trust us, we’re guilty. But when you sit in front of a Smile TV, all of that changes.
Smile TV, developed as an art installation by recent Royal College of Art design graduate, David Hedberg, consists of a CRT monitor and facial recognition software. When the viewer is not smiling, the screen in front of them is scrambled. But if you turn that frown upside down, you get to see happy sights, like the hilltop scene from the The Sound of Music in all of its heart-warming glory.
Hedberg’s premise is, “With content widely accessible, the question is no longer if we can receive, but if we are receptive. By expressing that we like something, we have very much become antennas ourselves… transmitting the content on to somebody else.”
So passive viewing is a no-go with the Smile TV. But if we aren’t engaged and enjoying what we’re watching, why waste the time? And wouldn’t smiling while watching boost your mood anyway? We’re all for this resurgence of focus in our multi-screen-filled lives.
The possibilities for this sort of technology are huge. We’ve already seen it in a selfie mirror, but we are digging the application to TV tech. Imagine if your emotional responses to shows were captured through facial recognition, and recommendations were provided to you based on that? That data could help shape what your DVR lineup should include.
As we said in the beginning, this is an art installation, so don’t expect to see it going mainstream anytime soon. That being said, between the Smile TV and the S.E.L.F.I.E, it’s definitely time to polish up those pearly whites.
What do you think about flashing a smile to show your engagement with your favorite shows? Let us know in the comments below!
(h/t Fast Company)