The Book Cover That Judges Readers

By Dianna Dilworth 

Thijs Biersteker has given the idiom, “don’t judge a book by its cover” a new meaning.

The Dutch artist has invented The Cover That Judges You. The book cover is designed to detect how a reader is judging it based on a scan of the reader’s face. Using a camera, the Nxt software identifies the reader’s emotional state from their expression.

“My aim was to create a book cover that is human and approachable-hi-tech,” explains Biersteker in his artist’s statement. “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.”