How to send a smile to a stranger over the Internet

How to send a smile to a stranger over the Internet

How to send a smile to a stranger over the Internet. Does that sound creepy to you? It shouldn’t.

Aside from the fact that smiling makes you more attractive (more attractive than the kissy face if you can believe it), smiling is a natural happiness drug as it releases endorphins and serotonin. More to this point, smiling is important to your health. In fact, this study looked at pictures taken of baseball players in 1952 and found that those smiling outlived their non-smiling counterparts by seven years. So, if you need a reason to smile, how about smiling for longevity?

Here in New York City, people are running around with their heads in their phones, buttoning up their black trench coats and so receiving a smile from a stranger isn’t something that happens every day. But from where I went to get myself an education down in Virginia (Vrrrginya), folks would smile all the time! They’d say “Hey Ya’ll” when passing a group of strangers and go on with their day. Minus the confederate flags and Natty Light, it was a lovely experience. I miss smiles.

Today, NYC’s Barbarian Group introduced Two of Us, the maiden voyage of Project Popcorn, an in-house ongoing project in which a new hire–Caelin Cacciatore— is paired with a couple of Barbarians (in this case: John Bresnik and Josh Carr), to make something awesome.

The premise is simple: take a webcam pic of your best smile to brighten someone else’s day, and get a smile in return! I love this! Who is this guy on my right? I don’t know and I don’t care! Smiles rule.

The site is built in NodeJS, a cutting edge event driven web server and MongoDB. The smile detection software was written by Sebastián Alvarez. He can be contacted via or his github page:

Featured image: Shutterstock/Cheryl E. Davis

Read next: Foodspotting partners with Scoutmob to serve up delicious deals