Mind Over Matter: This Virtual Mirror Can Turn That Frown Upside Down

Virtual Mirror Mood Enhancer

Sometimes, all you need to see is another smiling face to turn your own frown upside down. That concept works even more if it’s your own smiling face that you’re seeing. I don’t mean an old photo of yourself; rather, I’m talking about a smiling image of your face in real-time.

This is made possible by the “Emotion Evoking System” that was developed by Shigeo Yoshida and other researchers from the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies.

Virtual Mirror Mood Enhancer1

The set-up works by creating “computer-generated emotion by letting people recognize pseudo-generated facial expressions as changes to their own facial expressions.” The system itself is comprised of a camera and a video display. The person is supposed to stand in front of the camera, which captures and tracks his or her face. The software then goes to work, transforming their expression that changes the configuration around their eyes and mouths to make them “smile.”

A study conducted with 21 volunteers revealed that there was a correlation between the participants’ actual moods and their computer-generated expressions.