You have to admit: There’s something way more romantic about a handwritten, postmarked letter from your lover than an email. But engineers and artists have stepped in to say that technology can induce swooning too — and they fashioned a high-tech wooden box to prove it.
So, what is this thing? Inventors at Newcastle University are calling it the “Lovers’ Box”: It looks something like an old wooden telephone box, but with a hinge and an antique keyhole in front (see right). Inside? A computer, natch, but you can only see the screen.
Open the device like a book with a metal key, and you can view text, pictures, and video content from your partner, created especially for you. Your partner chooses when and how often the message plays. The university tested the technology out on five lucky couples, who were able to keep their box at the end. Aw.
Here’s what the project’s researchers said:
“The aesthetic appeal of these objects, with the mix of the antique wooden box that has to be unlocked with a physical key is really important in terms of keeping the personal messages between partners private and treasured,” said Anja Thieme, the lead researcher on the project.
“The process of reflecting on what content to present, of putting effort into the creation of the video and handing the box over to their beloved was perceived as giving a gift of high personal significance,” [she said]. “In this sense, the interaction with the box created space for partners to display mutual social and emotional support and to feel valued and loved.
No word on when or if we’ll be able to buy our own Lovers’ Box in the future, but you can recreate yours in the space of your own home: Try keeping an old laptop or a netbook under lock and key, and type love notes to each other that way.
Or…you could write your lover a real letter (sorry, technology!). He might even appreciate your slipping a simple Post-It with a kiss print on it into his briefcase.
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