Lovers’ Box

The Lovers’ Box is a digital artefact designed to engage couples in reflections on their relationship. Users open their personalised wooden box with a key that they then place on an RFID reader inside to play a recorded message. This can be anything the couples want: a video, a slideshow, an audio message and so on.

We conducted a field study involving five couples. We asked the ten people to exchange personal audio and video messages with their partner using the Lovers’ box over the course of five weeks. We discovered that the box became meaningful to participants: many perceived it as a keepsake or digital storybook of their meaningful experiences, enjoyed sharing it with their partner as a hobby, and saw it as providing them a snapshot into their partner’s mind and thoughts. This suggested that a regular positive exchange of intimate and personally meaningful content through the interaction with the box could support people’s emotional wellbeing.

Date: April 2009 – July 2010

Researcher: Anja Thieme

Collaborators: Prof. Nicole Krämer (University of Duisburg-Essen).

Part of the Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy (SiDE) project.

See the entry for Lovers’ Box on the SiDE website.

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