This Book Cover Judges You, Too

In technology that needed to be around when I was scribbling love notes to my crush Ben all over my middle school diary (you heard it here first, Ben), books can now only unlock when they receive readers' facial expressions they deem suitable. We've all heard of the saying "Never judge a book by its cover," but Thijs Biersteker along with Amsterdam creative studio Moore designed a book cover that judges you right back.

Think you can get away with laughing at a silly tagline? Quietly judging the book jacket designer's choice to use bubble letters as the main title font? Heavy sighing over a dumbed-down classic book cover? Think again, because this new book cover prototype will shut you right out of the opportunity to read the book. It works by using an integrated camera and a facial recognition system to scan your features and "see" your expression. So let all that snarking go if you'd like to read what's in the pages. Designer Biersteker explains his motivations on his webpage:

I often worry about my scepticism and judgement getting in my way of amazement. Judgement should never hinder relentless enthusiasm of seeing things for the first time.My aim was to create a book cover that is human and approachable-hi-tech. If you approach the book, the face recognition system picks up your face and starts scanning it for signs of “judgement”. If you’re over excited or your face shows a sceptical expression, the book will stay locked. But if your expression is neutral (no judgement) the system will send an audio-pulse to the Arduino and the book will unlock itself.

You'll now see me sitting over here waving my hands wildly above my head because WAIT: We can't show that we're over-excited either? As a jumping-up-and-down type, I'm going to have to calm down when my favorite books finally hit my hands or I'll never actually be able to read them. Maybe this is why I should have gotten involved in meditation.

And why, oh why, would an author want a book cover like this? Try to contain your passion, readers, or you literally will never get to read the book you're dying to read.

Still, the technology is crazy interesting and watching it in action is mind-blowing like somehow we've been transported into the future. And yes, don't worry, you can still jump up and down when you read those first glorious few lines; no one will judge you.

Image: Moore Amsterdam; Giphy