This Santa-like beard uses sensors to gently zap your face as a reminder to turn that frown upside down.
You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, the JöLLY Tracker is why. Truth be told, the holiday season can be a stressful one. Between deciding what to get loved ones to navigating your way through crowded malls, sometimes all that happiness can get lost in the hustle and bustle.
Developed by creative ad agency McKinney, the JöLLY Tracker is a wearable of a different kind. It’s not a fitness tracker. It’s not a smartwatch. It’s not even a hat. It’s an embedded Santa Claus beard that has one job, and one job only: to monitor how much you smile. Should you frown, it’ll emit a friendly little reminder in the form of an electric shock to your face. Ho, ho, how about that?
A team of creatives and hackers wanted to devise a wearable concept that would skip the normal metric tracking and go straight to helping spread some cheer.
“We wear devices on our wrists, pin them to our clothes, carry them in our pockets, each one sending us data about our well-being in hope of improving our lives,” McKinney’s ECD Peter Nicholson explains. “JöLLY is a spoof on our obsession with wearables and data. It is, simply, a joyful reminder that the holidays are the happiest time of the year.”
The setup is fairly simple, and resembles that of a recent project from our good pal Simone Giertz. A set of five electrodes are attached to the wearer’s face: two to monitor muscle movement, two to give off the shock, and most importantly, one for ground.
Hidden behind the white facial hair lies an Arduino, a Muscle SpikerShield, a battery pack and a TENS unit that gently jolts the nerves in your face. The JöLLY Tracker is controlled by an accompanying Android app that communicates with the beard over Bluetooth. It counts how many times a minute your smiling, measures the intensity of your smile and displays real-time changes in jolliness over preset intervals. If you’re too grumpy, JöLLY will send electric pulses to your cheeks and jaw. Safe to say, you’ll turn that frown upside down in no time — albeit nervously.
So in the words of Clark Griswold, just “press on and have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny ****** Kaye.”