A new high-tech mirror has arrived on the market: and it reflects only when the user who uses it smiles.

The device would have been developed specifically for cancer patients, and looks a lot like a tablet. It is equipped with a “smart material” mirror that can be made opaque or reflective, controlled by software and an integrated camera. Facial recognition technology controls the mirror surface and turns it into a reflex, a smile is detected. Like a normal mirror, you can hang it on a wall or place it on a table, but in this case the price is much higher, above $ 2,000. 

The idea came to the Turkish industrial designer Berk Ilhan, after witnessing the difficulties of one of his family members during cancer treatments, who decided to concentrate his work mainly on products that help the joy and well-being of patients suffering from cancer.

In the first days after her diagnosis, she told me that it was difficult for her to look in the mirror and admit to having a tumor,” he said. “Our facial expressions influence how we feel. If we move our facial muscles to smile our brain thinks that something good has happened, and as a result you feel happy.” An explanation that may seem a bit simplistic, but that is not unfounded. The idea that a smile, even when forced, can really make people feel better would have a scientific basis.

Ilhan is currently producing the mirror in quantities limited to the (expensive) price we mentioned at the beginning, but the designer is launching a Kickstarter campaign with which he hopes to raise enough funds to reduce the price to $ 500, and allow him to donate the mirror to hospitals as soon as it is financially feasible to do so.

Despite Ilhan’s good intentions, it must be said that the mirror has its detractors. Not everyone is happy to feel forced to smile. Some believe he is “condescending” towards the sick, and others have accused him of trying to take advantage of the disease, due to the high price.