Digital wearables had a breakout year in 2015, so it's quite fitting that McKinney jumps on the bandwagon for this holiday-themed invention -- a Santa-inspired beard that's designed to make you happy.
No doubt you'd have a laugh wearing a ridiculous, fluffy white hair-piece on your chin, but this one, which the agency has dubbed "JÃ¶LLY," actually has built-in sensors that can read your face when you're not in a good mood. Attached to an app, it will give you prompts to turn your frown upside down when it notices that you're not smiling or laughing enough.
"We wear devices on our wrists, pin them to our clothes, carry them in our pockets, each one sending us data about our well-being in hope of improving our lives," said McKinney ECD Peter Nicholson in a statement. "JÃ¶LLY is a spoof on our obsession with wearables and data. It is, simply, a joyful reminder that the holidays are the happiest time of the year. Let's all smile, laugh and even share a loud ho-ho-ho with the world."
The device was inspired by happiness research cited by American Enterprise Institute President Arthur C. Brooks in the New York Times, who wrote an opinion piece about how actively choosing to be grateful and simply acting as if we are in a good mood can raise our happiness levels.
It was one of the ideas to come out of the agency's Hacky Holidays program, what McKinney describes as its "internet island of misfit toys." You can read more about JÃ¶LLY and the projects that didn't make the cut here.