JöLLY wearable tracks smile rate and intensity - McKinney

JöLLY wearable tracks smile rate and intensity

December 10, 2015

Holiday happiness quantified with beard that reminds you to smile

New York — December 9, 2015 — McKinney announced today the launch of the first wearable that tracks happiness. Currently in beta, JöLLY is a long white beard lined with adhesive sensors that send real-time smile data to an app, encouraging the user to smirk, grin and laugh more often.

“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,” said McKinney ECD Peter Nicholson. “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. Let’s all smile, laugh and even share a loud ho-ho-ho with the world.”

Spoof or not, it works. JöLLY is equipped with four adhesive dermal sensors that the wearer attaches to their cheeks and jaw, a battery pack and a Wi-Fi-enabled Arduino board. The maxillofacial impulses that occur when the muscles responsible for smiling contract are collected and the analogue intensity data are sent to a companion smartphone app. The app then displays real-time changes in jolliness over preset measurement periods. When the app’s smileometer shows unsatisfactory smile movement, JöLLY sends electric reminder pulses — or “disruptive provocations” — to the cheeks and jaw to encourage increased smile frequency.

Arthur C. Brooks wrote in The New York Times recently that “we can actively choose to practice gratitude — and that doing so raises our happiness.” He cites an experiment done in 1993 showing that acting happy by smiling “coaxes one’s brain into processing positive emotions.” Wear JöLLY, and you’re guaranteed to feel happier.

JöLLY was one of many ideas submitted by agency employees to Hacky Holidays, McKinney’s Internet island of misfit toys. Descriptions of and prototype schematics for the ideas that didn’t make the cut are on hackyholidays.com, along with JöLLY. A promotional video showing the making of JöLLY is there, too. It was produced with generous amounts of time and energy (and smiles) by Aero Film.

“The best ideas can always be traced back to the not-quite-right ideas that came first,” remarked Nicholson, “so we tried to get to the good stuff fast with Hacky Holidays. But, it’s also important to celebrate the false starts. If not for questionable ideas such as the UgLED Sweater, there would be no JöLLY!”


About McKinney

Founded in 1969, McKinney focuses on delivering influence through creativity. The agency’s work has been recognized by Cannes, Effie, The One Show and The One Show Interactive, ANDY, Art Directors Club, CLIO, D&AD and the IAB MIXX Awards. An Advertising Age 2015 Agency to Watch and one of the Best Places to Work in Marketing and Media, McKinney works with the following clients: Samsung, Nationwide Insurance, Nationwide Financial, ESPN, Sherwin-Williams, CarMax, Crocs, Sennheiser, Mentos, Big Boss Brewing, Dognition and Urban Ministries of Durham. The agency is part of Cheil Worldwide, one of the world’s leading marketing communications networks with 44 offices in 37 countries. Operating as one agency with two doors, McKinney has offices in Durham, North Carolina, and New York City. Recently, McKinney Chief Creative Officer Jonathan Cude was named to Adweek’s Top 50 Vital Leaders in Tech, Media and Marketing. To learn more, visit mckinney.com and follow @mckinney.