Sony Researchers Unveil Refrigerator That Forces You To Smile

Should our emotional well-being be the concern of our gadgets and household appliances? An award-winning Japanese refrigerator prevents access to food unless you grin. Why does this sound like a nightmare? RocketNews24 writes:

Scientists at the University of Tokyo Sony CSL (Computer Science Labs) have come up with an ingenious way of cheering people up- forcing them to smile in exchange for easy access to their food. Attaching a device called a “Happiness Counter” to a regular refrigerator, Sony’s scientists are hoping to make us happier people.

The technology scans a person’s face, detects whether or not they are smiling and, reading anything other than a big, cheesy grin, makes the door difficult to open.

The thinking behind the tormenting device is that people, particularly those who live alone or who have little interaction with other people, often forget to smile. Since smiles produce natural endorphins in our bodies that cheer us up, the more grumpy-faced of us are, allegedly, more likely to feel down in the dumps.

The design, which received an award as one of the top 100 new inventions at the Good Design Awards this year, reportedly has a genuine effect on users’ mood, and can be installed in the office or around our homes in an effort to promote an optimistic approach to our daily lives.

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  • Liam_McGonagle

    This is just a very clever implementation of the “planned obsolescence” strategy to ensure repeat business.  Believe me, after you’ve been mind-raped into smiling at a goddamned household appliance for long enough, you’ll be temped to take that f*cker apart with a sledge hammer. 

    I know from experience.  Two decades in the corporate world spending 16 hours a day locked into meetings, lunches and golf outings with dreary *ssholes you wouldn’t believe when they said “hello”, and you, too, will walk in the office every day with fantasies of gorily disembowling the next pr*ck that tries to engage you in a discussion of “leveraging team skills diversity to maximize the value-added proposition.”

  • Liam_McGonagle

    This is just a very clever implementation of the “planned obsolescence” strategy to ensure repeat business.  Believe me, after you’ve been mind-raped into smiling at a goddamned household appliance for long enough, you’ll be temped to take that f*cker apart with a sledge hammer. 

    I know from experience.  Two decades in the corporate world spending 16 hours a day locked into meetings, lunches and golf outings with dreary *ssholes you wouldn’t believe when they said “hello”, and you, too, will walk in the office every day with fantasies of gorily disembowling the next pr*ck that tries to engage you in a discussion of “leveraging team skills diversity to maximize the value-added proposition.”

    • Meriane

      They make therapists specifically for this purpose… O_O

    • Meriane

      They make therapists specifically for this purpose… O_O

      • Liam_McGonagle

        No, people write resignation letters specifically for this purpose.

        Therapists invented the medical paradigm of mental health to justify their billing rates.

      • Liam_McGonagle

        No, people write resignation letters specifically for this purpose.

        Therapists invented the medical paradigm of mental health to justify their billing rates.

  • Andrew

    > difficult to open

    Fine, I’ll frown and get a little exercise.

  • Andrew

    > difficult to open

    Fine, I’ll frown and get a little exercise.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      I’m sure my 13 year old dog would love it if they invented a model that opened when you fart.  It’d be like a 24 hour/ 7 day a week open buffet with no cover charge for him.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      I’m sure my 13 year old dog would love it if they invented a model that opened when you fart.  It’d be like a 24 hour/ 7 day a week open buffet with no cover charge for him.

  • SimonSimon

    It would be better if it asked you verbally to act like a Chimp for 15 seconds… 

  • SimonSimon

    It would be better if it asked you verbally to act like a Chimp for 15 seconds… 

  • Jake

    They will try anything to implement face scanning technology everywhere. 

  • Jake

    They will try anything to implement face scanning technology everywhere. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/eric.fischer.73 Eric Fischer

      And the mask industry will be booming.

    • http://www.facebook.com/eric.fischer.73 Eric Fischer

      And the mask industry will be booming.

  • justagirl

    i’ll smile after you give me my goddam haagen daz.

  • justagirl

    i’ll smile after you give me my goddam haagen daz.

    • Marc

      I wonder if your a girl I know from Texas…?

    • Marc

      I wonder if your a girl I know from Texas…?

  • Anti-neo

    In some countries people invent refrigerator making you smile, while in other countries people dont have not only refrigerator, but even food. But all are living on the same Earth. How this could become possible? Who can explain this?
    I want to say that neoclassical economists are stupid. Fuck their stupid preferences and utilities, fuck their equilibriums,  fuck their free market.   

    • softie hotpants

      the free market ain’t free matie!

    • softie hotpants

      the free market ain’t free matie!

  • Anomaly_of_Anomie

    Appliances to help isolated individuals maintain their social interaction abilities…  

  • Anomaly_of_Anomie

    Appliances to help isolated individuals maintain their social interaction abilities…  

  • Say what

    it better come with a mirror, so i can check myself out.

  • Say what

    it better come with a mirror, so i can check myself out.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    it’s nice to know that scientists
    in one of the most densely populated countries in the world
    are concerned enough about isolated people
    to create refrigerator companionship
    now they can be crowded with people and machines

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    it’s nice to know that scientists
    in one of the most densely populated countries in the world
    are concerned enough about isolated people
    to create refrigerator companionship
    now they can be crowded with people and machines

  • Answer

    Now the real question is how will this be marketted? How are they going to convince the mass of people to buy this? I’m sure it wont take much. Probably wont take any effort, whatsoever, but how are they gonna do it? I wanna see the commercial for this pos already just to see exactly how they’re gonna try to convince me to buy this crap.Scene: Emotional appeal, followed by more emotional appeal  and the slogan “BUY IT, YOU NEED IT.”

  • Answer

    Now the real question is how will this be marketted? How are they going to convince the mass of people to buy this? I’m sure it wont take much. Probably wont take any effort, whatsoever, but how are they gonna do it? I wanna see the commercial for this pos already just to see exactly how they’re gonna try to convince me to buy this crap.Scene: Emotional appeal, followed by more emotional appeal  and the slogan “BUY IT, YOU NEED IT.”

  • saint_al

    Fridge would have to come with LOLcats, but we already have a machine for that. This device is going to go the same direction the TV-fridge did. 

  • saint_al

    Fridge would have to come with LOLcats, but we already have a machine for that. This device is going to go the same direction the TV-fridge did. 

  • JaiGuru

    The day my appliances engage in social engineering is the day I take a sledgehammer to them. We have actual problems that need solving, people. To hell with your misplaced optimism.

  • JaiGuru

    The day my appliances engage in social engineering is the day I take a sledgehammer to them. We have actual problems that need solving, people. To hell with your misplaced optimism.

  • http://twitter.com/ThePriss April Ann

    Well, that’s just great. So those of us who have a mouth that can’t make a fully upturned grin are going to snap and beat the hell out of the thing. I don’t see this as much of an advance in anything. 

  • http://twitter.com/ThePriss April Ann

    Well, that’s just great. So those of us who have a mouth that can’t make a fully upturned grin are going to snap and beat the hell out of the thing. I don’t see this as much of an advance in anything. 

  • Guest

    Oh! This is not retarded at all.

  • Guest

    Oh! This is not retarded at all.

  • http://twitter.com/TrinedayKris Kris Millegan

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  • http://twitter.com/TrinedayKris Kris Millegan

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  • http://twitter.com/CarlineBenois Carline Benois

    This would annoy me so much.
    Eventually, I’d starve.

  • http://twitter.com/CarlineBenois Carline Benois

    This would annoy me so much.
    Eventually, I’d starve.