Headpiece Jabbing for Smiles


[Lauren] has created a facial conditioning device dubbed the Happiness Hat. The hat measures a sensor at the wearer’s cheek to determine if the wearer is smiling. When the hat does detects the wearer is not smiling, it activates a servo that prods the wearer. This project is fairly unique in that it provides haptic bio-feedback of what the body is doing, a similar project to the Happillow. While the Happiness Hat seems to work for treating the outward symptoms of unhappiness, this is but an early step towards the droud.


  1. Caleb Kraft says:

    Her expression is priceless. it’s amazing how you can tell when someone has a forced smile.

  2. monkeyslayer56 says:

    so there encouraging people to fake a smile…
    hmmm i think i may make one for a few people…

  3. Skitchin says:

    That’s the same smile everyone gives me :(.

    That spike in the last picture is horrifying.

  4. pppd says:

    If there ever is a new contest for the most useless device I put my money on the “happiness hat”…

  5. necromncr says:

    I like the “I will kill you” touch to the design :P

  6. Troll says:

    All I could think of was Ren & Stimpy when I saw this

  7. Greg N says:

    Stimpy allready did this back in 1992.

    Happy Happy Joy Joy
    Happy Happy Joy Joy
    Happy Happy Joy Joy
    Happy Happy Joy Joy Joy.

  8. nope says:

    Prodding does not make me happy. Well.. a certain kind, but I’m the one doing the prodding.

  9. alfmar says:


    I feel more “panic” than “happiness” in her smiles ;)

  10. Sijesh says:

    Design looks creepy. It kinda make me realize “No pain, no gain” haha. I would design something which tickles your neck.

  11. monkeyslayer56 says:

    wait i got it. its to make the people around the wearer smile when they see that face lol

  12. Mic says:

    It might make you smile… won’t make you happy. Maybe a tazer happy hat would have a lobotomizing effect that would make you happy… sort of like Stimpy.

  13. McSquid says:

    that hat needs to be destroyed right now. lest the design be intercepted and reproduced by retail stores like gamestop and apple that will force their miserable employees to wear them.

  14. smb1985 says:

    EVIL! I enjoy being grumpy dammit!

  15. Cabe says:
  16. Bob says:

    Why would you need thIS hat when ther….ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD!

  17. Seth says:

    If you smile a lot, your brain will think you are happy. It will release more endorphins. And you will feel happier.

    So smile! :)

  18. branno says:

    I am getting some serious dystopia vibes here lol. Funny and creepy at the same time.

  19. DeFex says:

    Walmart has ordered 100000 of them for their greeters.

  20. Concino says:

    Forced smile is worst than natural frown IMHO. I still like the idea though. Lauren’s expression was priceless when she forced a smile. It looks like this thing really hurts.

  21. VonSkippy says:

    She’ll make a fortune selling them to the Japanese. There ALL workers must be happy ALL the time or ELSE (else like they get sent to happiness training school – not kidding).

  22. Louis II says:

    The Mind Snatchers, here we come!

    Also… does this remind you of what the Assimilation Programs conducted by the US over Native People of the US area? Boarding schools…?

    Anyway… creepy shit, man.

  23. cynic says:

    I can’t wait to lug 4 AA batteries, a 9volt cell AND a full arduino around on my head, just to make me put on a fake smile.
    [Lauren]‘s really using her MIT experience to full effect.

  24. Wwhat says:

    I bet this will be used to train stewardesses, and hostesses for various olympic games and such in those ‘friendly’ countries.

    They might consider bringing out a reverse version that punishes smiling too, it’ll sell.

  25. Mic says:

    OMFG dude! It has a metal spike on it wtf. Seriously I looked at their web site and it has a metal spike wtf!

  26. Mic says:

    I found something that will make you laugh (and a bit scared) This really happened. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Do6pmYfNco0. This will put a real smile on your face =).

  27. Formori says:

    “An enclosed bend sensor attaches to the cheek and measures smile size, a servo motor moves a metal spike into the head inversely proportional to the degree of smile. Through repeated use of this conditioning device you can train your brain to smile all the time.

    A little creepy, and I’m sure there are better ways to “train your brain”, but it is a form of habit conditioning, and what she says is true. If you actually wore this device for say, 7 days straight, you would be smiling almost all the time even after the week was up, since your brain automatically learns that anything but smiling equals pain.

    I’m sure there are better ways to learn to smile then this though, like watching stupid people walk into things while texting!

  28. I am not sure if something that makes you smile, is the same thing as making you happy.

  29. bhartley says:

    I think it would be nice if there was more control of the pain level, maybe electric shocks with varying levels of intensity. Several electrodes could be used such that you never know where the pain will cone from. Of course, even nicer would be a positive re-enforcement system that rewards you for smiling.

  30. dbear says:

    Our robotic overlords can use this to make us all happy! All hail the coming Robot Empire!

  31. pj says:

    Or as we used to say, “the floggings will continue until morale improves.”

  32. Anthony909 says:

    she is smokin

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