Now you can say thanks to other drivers at night using a remote-controlled, light-up happy face.
Living in places like Los Angeles and the Bay Area certainly have their perks, however they’re also notorious for extremely long and congested commutes. Born out of their own frustration with hostile traffic jams and miscommunication that often occurs between drivers, one Southern California-based startup has developed a way to make rush hour a bit friendlier. After all, if our roads and their potholes are becoming increasingly more social, shouldn’t our cars as well?
And so, MotorMood was born. By affixing the accessory to a rear window, users can easily say thanks to other drivers at night through a remote-controlled, light-up happy face. Sure that may not seem like much, but how often have you tried waving to a fellow driver to express your gratitude for letting you pass or make your way into the morning gridlock, only to wonder if they ever saw it? Fortunately, this can take out the guesswork.
The emoticon illuminates for six seconds through a remote control button that clips onto a sun visor, just like a garage door opener, and requires very little, if any, concentration to operate. What’s more, drivers can select from one of three colors to start: blue, pink, or green. There is also a red face overlay certain jurisdictions which require all rear-facing lights to be red.
The device, which measures 4.8″ in diameter, has been optimized for nighttime use, meaning that it’s vibrant enough to be seen from afar without distracting others. The face calls for a set of four AA batteries while the remote uses one coin cell, with a life of around six months.
“MotorMood uses a proprietary light guide display to create a beautiful, high quality image on the road. Three specifically placed LEDs fire light into a substrate with tiny divots, which distribute the light across the product’s surface for an evenly lit appearance. The brightness has been carefully optimized for nighttime use so that it’s bright and vibrant, but does not interfere with visibility or safety,” its creators explain.
So why a smiley face, you may ask? Research has proven that simply staring at the happy emoticon for five seconds can actually make someone feel happier than they were before.
However, as rudimentary as a light-up ‘thank you’ may sound, MotorMood is hoping to expand upon its array of emojis with themed collections and even licensed characters. Despite requests, the company says that it will never produce middle fingers or angry faces. (Sorry, New Yorkers!)
Yet, what really excites its team is the possibility of Bluetooth connectivity that would pair with a “Kindle-like display that could serve as a status bar for your car.” Looking ahead, the team tells Entrepreneur that future iterations may be configured to track the number of smiles given or received per day via an accompanying mobile app, as well as do things like recognize the kind of music playing on the radio that will then show that information like a real-time bumper sticker.
Sound like something you’d love to have in your car window? Apparently you’re not alone, as its Kickstarter campaign is well on its way to garnering its pledge goal of $150,000.