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The Happiness Machine: Scanning The Internet For Good Vibes

Brendan Dawes creates The Happiness Machine" to print out just how happy the internet is.
October 9, 2012, 9:25pm

How would you like to have a little printer that pops out selected segments of the internet for you without ads instantaneously? Or what about being able to visualize the mood of a city before you start your morning commute? What about a little bit of both?

The latest project created by UK-based digital artist, designer, author, and maker, Brendan Dawes entails an idea rooted in both concepts. His project, entitled The Happiness Machine is an Internet-connected printer that is sensitive to the buzzword “happy.” When a large black button on the device is pressed, it prints out randomized blips of information and thoughts from people across the internet who mention the word, “happy.”


Though The Happiness Machine uses content from We Feel Fine, the printer objectively prints the data it picks up. The weeding out of information is done on a server through which Dawes can control the type of data that could come back. “It could easily be train times, news headlines, or your day’s appointments—the printer doesn’t care—it’s dumb. It just prints what comes back,” says Dawes.

For Fieldguide at The London Design Festival 2012, Dawes tweaked “The Happiness Machine” to have a few upgrades. Rather than having only one button to print out exclusively happy feelings, people could choose between happy or sad feelings via capacitive touch buttons created using Bare Conductive’s conductive paint.

On his website, Dawes says, “I still believe paper has advantages from time to time as a content delivery mechanism over all the screens that now pervade our lives; you can tear it off, put it in your wallet/purse, scribble on it, or give it someone else without worrying whether it works with their OS. And it doesn’t need a power source for display.”

Photos courtesy of Brendan Dawes

[via PSFK]