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A New Facial Recognition Mobile App From Listerine Helps Blind People See Smiles

A New Facial Recognition Mobile App From Listerine Helps Blind People See Smiles

Mouthwash brand Listerine has created a new mobile app that enables blind people to detect when they are being smiled at.

The app and short film were created by JWT London to launch the brand’s new Advanced White Mouthwash. Initially available in the U.K., Ireland and Germany, the app uses facial recognition technology to detect a smile, then beeps and vibrates to let them know happiness nearby is being directed at them.

The app is accompanied by a touching film, “Feel Every Smile,” directed by Oscar-nominated documentary maker Lucy Walker (Waste Land, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom). It features four blind people who discuss what smiles mean to them and how not being able to know if someone is smiling at them affects them. The film goes on to show them using the app and experiencing people smiling at them. Their moving reactions leave no doubt as to the power of “feeling” a simple smile.

The foursome are apparently revisited after they have been using the app over a period of time. “When I first got it I thought it was going to be fun but it’s actually really special,“ says one young woman, adding: “It’s something that people take for granted, knowing they’re being smiled at.” Her grandfather chips in: “It’s a natural thing, a smile, but when you can get a smile back, that’s when it chokes you up.”

Because what’s the point of having white teeth if it’s not to smile at others.

LJ