The Enchanted Book is an interactive guest book with a tiny camera and microphone sewn into the binding that will allow people attending an event or celebration to record an audio or audio-video message on the book itself, which also has a screen and speaker for playing back the mementos.
The “big idea” is that if a person cannot be present at the event (birthday, bat mitzvah, art opening, funeral etc.) he or she can access a web application with a unique URL to record a message that will reside upon a particular Enchanted Book.
David Rose’s book Enchanted Objects inspired me to invent a guest book that empowers people to create an irreplaceable archive of family memories.
In June, 2015 I fashioned a prototype using a cardboard box, blue tape, an off-the-shelf audio recorder from Radio Shack, a littleBits Electronics cloudBit™, and an IFTTT recipe to send a text message to validate the concept. The text message from IFTTT read, “Your message is on its way to the Jacqueline and Aristotle wedding album! Thank you for your presence & presents! Love, Jackie & Ari.”
Hired Olivia Lobo Goulart
I started sketching ideas for the application and know how important the look and feel is after 20+ years in digital media. During a General Assembly class called Public Speaking for Problem Solvers, taught by Holley Murchison of Oratory Glory, I met a talented designer, Olivia Lobo Goulart. She comprehended and translated the spirit of the Enchanted Book beautifully.
Hired Natalie Freed
I reached out to Natalie Freed—a technologist and teacher who crafted an exquisite example of an interactive book, The Tide Book—to help with the form factor and prototype electronics.
Form (ever) follows function, right? In the second prototype the Enchanted Book sprouted a rectangular panel to house the rechargeable battery, flash memory, operating system, and buttons.
It was a thrilling moment for us when the LightBlue Bean, a Bluetooth Arduino microcontroller, started talking to our app!
The current prototype is ready for embellishment! The electronics are in place and the structure even resembles the provisional patent sketch (which was filed October 30th). The book board will be covered with an alluring silk that designates dignity, elegance, and—of course—enchantment.
The AlphaPrototype has arrived. Contact me if you’d like to try it at a wedding, funeral, birthday party, art opening etc.