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.

One of the VoicePrint necklaces - wearable tech that doesn't need a battery

A VoicePrint necklace: Wearable tech that doesn’t need a battery

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.”

Colorful acrylic versions retail at $50

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

5 Responses to Voiceprint jewelry: Truly wearable technology

  1. Reblogged this on joankamaru and commented:
    #onlinelearning

  2. […] I know I often associate wearable tech with things that light up or play audio. However in this case, this is tech art with meaning. These acrylic discs represent a voice message, so even though you can’t hear it, you can see it, as discussed on WearableTechWatch. […]

  3. david bizer says:

    Wow. What a great ripoff.

    I’m selling these since a bunch of years on my website http://www.bza.biz

    I also made an instructable so people could make them on their own,
    the only thing I asked for was not to commercialize it.
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Waveform-Necklace-Bracelet

    At least they implemented a bunch of features which I’m planning to integrate
    for quite a while but couldn’t because I hadn’t the money for coders.

  4. Jason Falls says:

    Just to address David’s concerns above, I thought I’d chime in from Cafepress’s perspective.

    The idea for Voiceprint Jewelry came to one of our product developers without having seen bza.biz. We actually began looking around once we concepted and found a number of similar products (soundwavejewelry.com comes to mind, but I did a search this morning and found a dozen or so artists and craftsmen/women producing similar concepts).

    We are certainly inspired by and delighted others had similar ideas, but continued with our product development since we can address supply chain, customer service and other challenges smaller, independent artists may have, not to mention our initial focus (not limitation, but focus) is on the U.S. market. While certainly the offering we have is similar to bza.biz, we were unaware of their offering until the product was concepted and in early stage production. We David is very successful in offering his version of voiceprint/soundwave concept jewelry.

  5. david bizer says:

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for your reply. For me it is very hard to imagine you haven’t seen my work before.
    With almost any combination of relevant keywords my work turns up among the first results in google.
    If I’m having an idea, the first thing I’m doing is looking it up online to see if somebody else made it before.
    If so I go ahead designing something else. There’s enough ideas to be made.
    For a company your size, not doing a proper research initially is totally irresponsible product development.

    Of course I can’t claim to be the only designer making voice customized jewelry, and you are right –
    there are others offering RELATED ideas.
    But there’s a difference between doing something similar and making something exactly identical.

    What worries me is that you indeed can address challenges I couldn’t due to limited funding.
    The majority of my customers is also from the US, so my audience is the same as yours.

    Luckily I’m not worried too much.
    I believe in the originality of my product and I don’t think that people searching for something like this would like to buy plagiarism.

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