Salih Berk Ilhan, a student at the School for Visual Arts (SVA) in the USA, has created a “Smile Mirror” as part of a project called Uplifting aimed at improving the quality of life of cancer patients. The mirror shows your reflection only when smiling, by recognising the movement of facial muscles used to smile. It based upon the idea that when people physically smile it evokes feelings of emotional happiness. Many cancer patients experience clinical depression and it is thought that projects like the Smile Mirror may help combat this. The mirror is currently being developed for batch production and is hoped to be launched for sale to hospitals by the end of 2016.

Other products part of the Uplifting project include an app called All Together. The app allows friends and family to see and assign tasks the patient may need help with. One example is if during a chemo session children need to be collected from school, the task is posted on the app and then friends have the opportunity to volunteer to do the task. The aim of this app is to make it easier for patients to ask for help when needed.

The SVA’s blog explains the projects in more detail, including the Smile Mirror for cancer patients.