GOOD

Smile Like You Mean It: You Could Make Someone's Day

This web tool will make sure you smile, even though it's Monday

It's Monday, so it's likely that a large percentage of you aren't smiling right now. A web tool that debuted last week could change that. Two of Us is like Chatroulette for smile snapshots—you upload a smile and get a stranger's smile in exchange. It's a fun, if slightly cheesy, way to connect with a stranger for an unexpected second (and appropriate for GOOD's September challenge, we might add).


The project came about as the result of a team-building exercise at creative agency The Barbarian Group, when new hire Caelin Cacciatore was paired with a couple of old hands at the company and charged with the mission to make something awesome. "We knew we had to make a simple yet effective statement that could make somebody's day better," Cacciatore says. "So I was thinking about what I personally did to help people, and I make it a point to try and smile at strangers as much as possible."

Two of Us uses facial recognition software to make sure you're smiling, so no NSFW pics allowed. (It's actually pretty sensitive—check out my attempts to fool it below). With minimal effort, you can brighten two people's days: your own and a stranger's. As Cacciatore puts it, "You never know, it may be the only smile they get that entire day."

My feeble attempts to defeat Two of Us's facial recognition:

It won't tolerate my frown...

...Or my neutral gaze. The dismissive pop-up reads "we're using a fancy machine to make sure you're smiling, and it appears you are not. Perhaps you should try again?" So I do.

Sort of. Perhaps that smile's not toothy enough...

But all teeth won't cut it either. (And I'm a terrible drawer.) So I compromise...



Showing a top layer of teeth wins me a beaming grin from an internet stranger. Victory at last.
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