Listerine Creates Smartphone App That Allows Blind People to "Feel" Smiles

PHILADELPHIA (WTXF)--Listerine, known for its mouthwash, created a smart phone app that allows blind people to feel smiles.

The new app, called "Smile Detector," uses facial recognition and a smartphone's camera to find a person's face and alert the receiver when it detects a smile.

When using the app, the user hangs the camera around his or her neck with the camera facing outwards. As smiles are detected from the person they are in contact with, the phone vibrates on the user's chest. The app can even detect the smile motion up to 15 feet away.

In a heartwarming video shot by Oscar-nominated director Lucy Walker announced the release of the app visually impaired people are shown testing the "Smile Detector." The film corresponds with Listerine's new "Advanced White" campaign and immediately went viral.

One of the younger interviewees in the video, Chloe, reported, "It's something that people just take for granted, knowing that they're being smiled at. But when you don't know that, you're kind of missing that interaction, so when you know you're being smiled at, it kind of makes you feel like, ah, that's nice, someone smiled at me."

Among others featured in the video is Sarah, who has never been able to see her 1-year-old baby. She feels her child's smile in the video for the first time and her response is a clear example of why this app is so groundbreaking.

In an interview with Little Black Book, app developer, J. Walter Thompson London and Creative Director, John Cherry, said "When creating this app, we wanted to make something that could help those that might miss some smiles, to once again be able to feel the power of every smile."

The Smile Detector App is available on both Android and iOS. Its impact is being felt worldwide as it uses new technology to capture its user's smiles.