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The phrase “biometric security features” usually calls to mind a bank vault or government intelligence facility, but such devices might work in libraries, too. Artist Thijs Biersteker just unveiled a high-tech book that scans a would-be reader’s face before deciding whether to open.
“The Cover That Judges You,” Biersteker explains, sends an audio pulse to a piece of hardware that unlocks the book—but only if it detects a neutral expression devoid of preconceived bias.
“I often worry about my skepticism and judgement getting in my way of amazement,” he writes, “and judgement should never hinder [the] relentless enthusiasm of seeing things for the first time.”
Don’t get too enthusiasm, though: the book won’t open if you’re overly excited.
With a few tweaks, this technology could ensure that my family never reads my childhood diary—never again, anyway.
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'