Mr. Whippy, the ice cream machine for sad miserable overeaters

An art project from the Ars Electronica festival can measure how sad you are and give you more ice cream in response.


Do you eat ice cream when you're sad? I sure do. When I saw that my nasty co-worker Tim Moynihan had pitted the Beer-Launching Fridge against Keepon the Dancing Robot in his artificial intelligence showdown , I got totally emo because I had no idea who to vote for. Then I bought myself a pint of Phish Food and ate it for breakfast with a side of Kleenex, sunny side down.

But technology is always making our lives easier, and here's a gadget that can help me figure out just how much self-pity eating I'll need to do next time I get really sad. This prototypical ice cream machine, whose name is Mr. Whippy, can tell just how much you hate yourself, and dole out the appropriate amounts of ice cream in response: the more harangued you are, the more ice cream you get.

It's simple. Mr. Whippy, who is at the moment a project from the Ars Electronica festical (which means, basically, that you can't buy him), asks you some questions. You answer them. Then, he measures the level of stress in your voice, and distributes those tasty feel-good treats accordingly.

It could also, presumably, ask you questions that would indicate just how off-the-charts your Emo Fever is, you know, like "Just how much does Jared Leto encapsulate your existence right now?" or "If you watched Steel Magnolias, would you start laughing hysterically at how happy and upbeat it is?" Plus, there could be a Mr. Whippy 2.0 that can determine which flavors are best for really sad people. If you're only just kinda sad, maybe it'd give you something pseudo-healthy like mango sorbet. If you're kind of ambiguously mad at your mom, it'd give you plain old vanilla. But if you've gone all Sylvia Plath on the world, hello double chocolate heart-clogging caramel crunch!

(Switched via Boing Boing)

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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