A mirror created by industrial designer Berk Ilhan won’t reflect unless it detects that you’re smiling. The plug-in mirror specifically designed to cheer up cancer patients.
The Smile Mirror comes with a screen and camera in the frame. Facial recognition software determines whether or not the person looking in is smiling. When it does, only then will the screen start reflecting light and images.
Inspiration behind the Smile Mirror
Industrial designer Berk Ilhan said a conversation with a cancer patient inspired him to create the mirror.
“She told me in the first days after her diagnosis, it was difficult for her to look in the mirror and acknowledge she had cancer,” he told CNN.
“Our facial expressions affect how we feel. If we flex our facial muscles to smile, our brains think that something good happened and as a result, [we feel] happiness.”
Facial feedback theory
Interestingly, science backs the concept behind the Smile Mirror.
Psychologist Fritz Strack in 1988 had people rate cartoons while holding a pen between their teeth to make them smile, or between their lips to bring them to frown. The result: the smiling group tended to rate the cartoons as funnier.
The concept is called the facial feedback theory – that how you move your face affects the way you feel.
In 2012, a study found that forcing a smile using chopsticks can lower heart rate after doing stressful tasks.