Enchanted Book

The First Thingfully Thing

The Enchanted Book is an interactive guest book that allows people attending an event or celebration to record an audio or video message on a tablet attached to the book itself.

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.

Process Documentation (from the Enchanted Book website)

The Mission

David Rose’s book Enchanted Objects inspired me to invent a guest book that “empowers people to create an irreplaceable archive of personal memories”.

Prototype #1

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.

Prototype #2

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.

Kickstarter Video

I hired Community Bridge Video to produce a three-minute Kickstarter video. The first of two shoot days was at my home and the second at the San Francisco Center for the Book, which showed Bridget working with Natalie and Olivia.

LightBlueBean in Action

It was a thrilling moment for us when the LightBlue Bean, a Bluetooth Arduino microcontroller, started talking to our app!

Prototype #3

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.