Book judges reader by its cover


There is an old saying “never judge a book by its cover” – but a design firm has found a way to turn the motto round.

Dutch studio Moore has created a book which passes judgement on the reader – and only lets them open it if they look sufficiently receptive.

Designer Thijs Biersteker said: “It’s new technology with an old saying behind it.”


The cover uses an integrated camera and facial recognition system to scan the face of someone who wants to read it – and the integrated technology will only unlock the book if the expression is neutral.

Any other expression – even excitement or anticipation – will cause the prototype book, dubbed “The Cover that Judges You” impossible to open.

But a neutral expression triggers an Arduino micro-controller which unbolts the lock and lets the user take a look inside and view images of Dutch artwork, architecture and design.

Facial features is displayed on the cover so that the user can line up their own features in the correct place.

“My aim was to create a book cover that is human and approachable hi-tech,” said Biersteker- who said architect Rem Koolhaas is one of his major inspirations.

“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 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.”

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