smile TV by david hedberg only works when you’re grinning
all images courtesy david hedberg
at the 2014 RCA show, design graduate david hedberg showcased ‘smile TV’, an interactive television set that instead of making you grin as you watch, requires you to ‘smile to watch’. made from an open frame CRT monitor that is equipped with a computer vision system, the experimental TV set reveals its scrambled broadcast image only as long as you keep showing those pearly whites. the device features a built-in facial tracking camera, which is hidden within the embossed typography of a small ‘smile to watch’ sign. once the camera feed is analyzed via FaceOSC (a facial metric tracking system) and your happy look is detected, the scrambled broadcast clears up to show a selection of poorly performed action scenes and funny animal clips.
video courtesy david hedberg
‘bad reception used to be associated with the poor technical performance of an antenna’, says hedberg. ‘just a decade ago it was much clearer who dictates the information which we absorb. now, 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. this TV installation elaborates with facial recognition technology and a last-decade TV set to re-consider viewers engagement and how content is accessed. it only works if we smile,’ he adds.
instead of making you grin as you watch, the TV set requires you to ‘smile to watch’
visualization of the scrambled broadcast feed
a built-in facial tracking camera is hidden within the embossed ‘smile to watch’ typography