Smile Bar – Inviting People to Smile More

Umeå's winters are cold and dark. The Smile Bar is an interactive installation for the Umeå Institute of Design that highlights the benefits of smiling and encourages students to smile more. Research shows that the act of smiling is enough to make us feel happy, a particular reason to do so is not that important.  The Smile Bar is a different take on a photo booth – reducing it to just taking a picture of their mouth. After a smile was capture the Smile Bar prints a fun receipt containing funny statistics for the student to keep.

School Umeå Institute of Design
Class Experience Prototyping –  Rapid Prototyping for Data Driven Experiences
Tutors Kaveh Shirdel & Friedrich Foerstner (DesignIt Munich)
Year Fall 2013 (4 days)
Skills Low-Fi Prototyping, Physical Prototyping (Arduino), User Testing, Processing, Lean Business Canvas, Elevator Pitch
Team Members Doris Feurstein, Shelagh McLellan, Linus Persson

The Challenge
The challenge was to come up with a fun and inviting product in four days that fits into the category 'Health'. We were encouraged to iterate quickly and to build multiple prototypes.

The Result
Motivated to fail early and often we came up with multiple low-fi prototypes and tested them with people around school until we arrived at the Smile Bar concept in our third iteration. Smile Bar works similarly to a interactive Photo Booth but exclusively focusses on the subjects' smiles. All smile photos are projected onto the wall behind the installation, inviting people to try smile bar for themselves. It consists of a podium, a webcam, a huge button, a mac mini, an Arduino board, a thermal printer and a projector.

My Contribution
Most of the project was done in close collaboration with all team members. We all collectively brainstormed, ideated, built simple prototypes out of paper and tested them with people in school. On the last day before the presentation amongst other things I wrote the processing code that displayed all the smile photographs and tutored Shelagh on how to get the thermal printer to print using Arduino.