Household objects designed to bring you happiness

A London designer has created appliances that require an emotional exchange to function.

Ted Wiles, a student at the Royal College of Art in London, has created a line of household products which react to positive movements and expressions.

The actions required to activate these inanimate objects, which Wiles created as part of his final university project called 'Involuntary Pleasures', are specifically designed to encourage positive feelings in the user as a result of physical interactions with the products.

Wiles' claim that his designs can promote positive self-image, increase serotonin levels, as well as the feel-good hormone dopamine, and lead to a reduction in cortisol, the stress hormone.

The 'Victory Alarm Clock' requires the user to hold two sensors in the 'victory pose', with one's arms raised above the head, for two minutes in order to turn off the alarm. This pose supposedly increases testosterone levels and reduces cortisol, making the user feel more confident.

The 'Hugging Toaster' has built in sensors and so will only work if it is hugged for the duration of the toasting process, an action which may lead to increasing levels of dopamine and serotonin in the user, leading to feelings of comfort and relaxation.

Another one of Wiles' inventions is the 'Smile Telephone' which you can only answer if you are smiling. Using a camera and facial recognition software embedded in a mirror which the phone is attached to, the technology can determine if the user is smiling or not, meaning that the person receiving the call must engage positively with themselves in the mirror before the phone is connected. This supposedly leads to increased serotonin levels.

Wiles' website explains further his intentions when creating the project. "Physical interaction is required of the user to engage with this series of electronic products. This physical movement is designed to invoke chemical changes in the user's brain, which engender feelings of delight and happiness."

There is no word yet if Wiles plans to sell his product commercially.