Voiceprint jewelry: Truly wearable technology
Looking for a more durable bit of wearable technology? One that doesn’t need batteries, and has the potential to last a lifetime, or more? Cafepress, the company behind Voiceprint jewelry, has come up with a long-lasting and very personal piece of wearable technology, a necklace that’s based on an individual voice print.
Here’s how it works: Record any message as an audio file, upload to the Voiceprint website, and a few days later, you’ll receive your own personalized necklace – in a wide range of colorful plastic discs, tanned leather or hardwood. The necklace comes with a link for the recipient to play back the personal message – since we assume that few customers are narcissistic enough to record a message for themselves. The idea for creating a piece of wearable technology as jewelry came from Marc Cull, Vice President of Product Development at CafePress. According to the company, “we developed VoicePrint Jewelry to add to our catalog of unique, personalized gifts our customers can buy for their loved ones.” Although the necklace is a permanent reminder of a voice print, it’s a one-way process, says CafePress VP Digital Strategy, Jason Falls: “There’s no way that we know of to convert the finished necklace into a sound file. It is a symbolic representation rather than true electronic technology. We discussed the possibility of embedding some sort of player on the item so you could press a button or otherwise activate it and hear the original recording, but this seems very gimmicky to us. We’re hoping people see the symbolism in the idea and understand it’s the idea and sentiment, not necessarily the gimmick that you’re buying.”
How it works is that CafePress uses a visualization program to convert sound wave graphs into units of bars to match, then transform a two-dimensional bar into a three-dimensional disc. The next step is to use laser cutting technology to cut the discs from sheets of acrylic, wood and leather, match them to the original sound wave graph and string them along the necklace. Pricing starts at US $50 for an acrylic edition and runs to $100 for the wood version. /WTW