April 27, 2011
Revive your memories with an antique- digital boxby Shalu Pillai
Every year millions are spent on personalising experiences. Everyone wants a unique touch and this has often been key to the success of many products and services. Now researchers at the University of Newcastle are working on creating emotionally meaningful forms of digital communication with the “Lovers’ Boxes”. Resembling an antique wooden jewellery box, each box conceals the latest technology to play back messages recorded by a loved one. On the outside, its spells antique in every senses – with the box made from four different types of wood, cherry, beech, apple and walnut, ornately carved with brass hinges and an antique keyhole at the front. A computer incorporating a RFID reader is hidden inside. On opening the box, a screen becomes visible in the lid framed by wood and on unlocking the box, the RFID tagged key starts the video message. Unlike the usual 16:9 landscape format of typical video playback, it attempts to give you the sense of something different, something special. Remember though, without the key, the message cannot be played.
The couples create their video with the help of a digital media artist. The messages are personalized further with the ability to configure a specific date and time and the facility to limit the number of times a message could be played, making it ideal as a memento or interactive storybook of their experiences. Everyone likes going way-out, so I’m sure this mix of old and new being popular not just among lovers but along be great you’re your child and parents. The key element, we must add, is the key. So if you’re making more than one -make sure you don’t get them jumbled up!