New Mirror, Designed to Lift Cancer Patients’ Spirits, Only Works When You Smile
Technology| | By Brad Kallet
It was two years in the making, but industrial designer Berk Ilhan has finally seen his vision come to light.
Ilhan, originally from Turkey, was motivated to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients after witnessing a relative of his battle the awful disease. He was inspired to create a product called the Smile Mirror, in which you can only see your reflection if you smile. Research has shown that smiling and laughing improve people’s moods and decrease their levels of stress, and Ilhan wanted to do his part to help patients feel better.
The mirror, which you plug in, is about the size of a tablet and contains a built-in camera. Facial-recognition technology detects when you’re smiling, and when you do your face suddenly appears.
According to CNN, Ilhan conducted research at a number of cancer hospitals in Turkey, speaking with caregivers, patients, and oncologists.
“I learned morale and social support are two very important factors that can positively change a patient’s experience,” he told the network. “… [A cancer survivor] told me in the first days after her diagnosis [that] it was difficult for her to look in the mirror and acknowledge she had cancer. 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.”
The downside is that the Smile Mirror will cost you. The price is currently between $2,000 and $3,000. In an effort to make it more affordable, Ilhan is attempting to raise money on Kickstarter. If he receives the desired funds, Ilhan believes that he can produce more mirrors and reduce the cost to $500. Eventually, his goal is to donate them to hospitals.
“If you give it to someone, you are gifting them a smile,” he said, according to CNN.
How do you feel about the Smile Mirror? Is it a wonderful gift for cancer patients? Do you think it would make a difference? Let us know in the comments below and SHARE this story with your friends.