Never judge a book by its cover – if you can’t abide by this ‘rule’, you will be forced to by the new book jacket manufactured by designer Thijs Biersteker of an innovative agency, Amsterdam design studio, Moore.
The jacket has been designed to study the person’s face and only opens if it finds the latter’s facial expressions to be neutral, with no sign of prejudice lurking on his face. If the scan is the favourable, unbiased-looking one, the lock is opened; if not, the book remains closed.
Intelligent book, huh? Books equipped with the jackets do not allow potential readers from ‘judging’ them. Rather, they judge you before you judge them. In fact, the prototype book has been nicknamed “The Cover that Judges You”.
The book cover has an incorporated camera at the top position, over a screen that transmits the image upon detection, together with a facial recognition system allowing it to scan the reader’s face for the type of expression drawn onto it. Even more curious is how the book will still remain closed if one’s expression depicts over-excitement. No bias, remember?!
Scanning the image
How does it work to “judge” readers?
Abstract facial features have been imprinted onto the cover. The reader has to align his own facial features with them.
Picture depicting a reader’s face aligned with the artwork on the cover
If a neutral expression is detected, an Arduino micro-controller is stimulated and the lock is unbolted.
Designer Thijs Biersteker explained the reason behind the manufacture of the device on his website in the following words:
“My aim was to create a book cover that is human and approachable hi-tech”.
He further explained the mechanism:
“If you approach the book, if you’re overexcited or your face shows a sceptical expression, the book will stay locked. But if your expression is neutral (no judgment) the system will send an audio pulse and the book will unlock itself. I often worry about my scepticism and judgement getting in the way of my amazement. Judgment should never hinder the relentless enthusiasm of seeing things for the first time.”