Le Modulateur Epistolaire reading demonstration
Le Modulateur Epistolaire
January 2011 to April 2011

This device was developed for a student industrial design project while studying in Paris at the Sorbonne. The premise was to create a product to acknowledge the value of “creatively taking time out” from the hectic demands of contemporary business life.

My inspiration was to address the stressful immediacy demanded of checking impersonal email. Lost not only is the intimacy and subconscious sense of the writer of personal letters but also the recognition of the time needed to hand write anything. There is an emotional satisfaction in receiving a hand-written note from a dear friend that is absent from an email.

The challenge was to design a device that used modern technology while evoking the warmth of a time consuming handwritten letter. Using industrial, graphic and user interface design, I developed a portable leather covered iPad-like tablet that allowed a user to hand write a letter on a pressure-sensitive surface that digitized the nuances of written words, and was then sent electronically. Using the reverse side of the device someone could see these messages as handwritten letters.

The interface was specifically designed to retain the mental experience of opening a mailbox and letter, in order to replicate the sense of anticipation that is normally felt when opening an envelope from someone special–when we had time to indulge in hand written letters.