The Smile TV has brought a new meaning to enjoying your favorite shows in High Definition. David Hedberg, Royall College of Art graduate, created an innovative television that becomes clear and free of static only when a person smiles.
“Bad reception used to be associated with the poor technical performance of an antenna. 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,” he says.
Hidden inside a “Smile to Watch” sign is a facial recognition device that connects to the television, so as viewers shine their pearly whites the static fades and a series of short videos play.
Hedberg aims to analyze the impact of endless amounts of information we have at our fingertips, and to draw parallels between humans and antennas as we transmit information to one another.
“By expressing that we like something, we have very much become antennas ourselves – transmitting the content on to somebody else,” he says.
The television made its debut at the Royall College of Art show in 2014. Since then Hedberg has received positive press for his creation, along with his other projects “Colony” and “Chromophonic Radio”, which gives everyday objects embedded with transmitters the ability to communicate with us and with each other.
Facial recognition is becoming a more wide-spread trend with companies to see how viewers respond to commercials. With improvements in technology, the commercials on our television sets would directly appeal to us based our smiles, frowns, and raised eyebrows.
The future of television could be influenced by how viewers are impacted with innovations like the Smile TV. So the next time you flash a smile at your favorite television show, remember that your grin may someday be powering a clearer picture.