This book will refuse to open if you’re too judgmental

Have you ever judged a book by its cover? What if the tables were turned? 

Have you ever judged a book by its cover? Well, Amsterdam creative studio Moore is turning the tables on the old-school idiom by designing a sleeve equipped with an integrated camera and facial-recognition technology that scans the face of whoever comes near.


The idea behind the aptly named Cover That Judges You was to create a book cover that is human and approachable-hi-tech. According to its creators, if someone conveys too much emotion – whether overexcitement or under-enthusiasm — the book will remain locked. However, if their expression is free of judgement, the system will send an audio-pulse to an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) and the book will unlock itself.

“I often worry about my scepticism and judgement getting in my way of amazement and Judgement should never hinder relentless enthusiasm of seeing things for the first time,” Moore’s Thijs Biersteker explains.


The built-in camera is positioned at the top of the book’s sleeve, above a screen that feeds back the image when it detects a face in close proximity. Artwork featuring abstract facial features is displayed on the cover so that the user can line up their eyes, nose and mouth in the optimum position. Once the correct alignment is obtained, the screen turns green and a signal is relayed to the ATmega328 based board that opens the metal lock.

Interested in learning more? Head over to the project’s official page here. Meanwhile, you may want to check out these two interactive pieces: a story that lets you feel what the character is feeling and an embedded coffee table book for Apple aficionados.

2 thoughts on “This book will refuse to open if you’re too judgmental

  1. Pingback: 11 projects that are redefining storytelling | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

  2. Pingback: Here are some unbelievable projects to help celebrate Arduino Day | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s