A Message from the Wrist

Floating HandIt’s like my mother always used to say, “Every time you see a floating ghost hand, you’ll find some creativity.” To be honest her sound advice has always been a little odd, but, as a writing device for this post, it finally makes some sense. This image comes from The Sound Advice Project which I found courtesy of a tweet by @jonwheatley

The idea behind this project is quite innovative;  parents can capture the sound waves of their encouraging words to be turned into a bracelet their child can always carry with them. Each bracelet will be unique, even if the same phrase is used by multiple parents, because everyone’s voice signature appears differently (this is smart because no teenager would be caught dead wearing the exact same voice bracelet as their friend). If that isn’t enough, it’s also customizable in 5 different colors for the beads and 3 different colors of chord.

The result is something personal, emotional, and tangible–so far, so good. But what’s the end goal?

Picture 11-1Two Birds, None Stoned
This bracelet concept tackles two objectives simultaneously; 1) Get parents talking to their child about drug use, 2) Raise money for non-profits dedicated to drug use prevention/awareness. When parents record, customize, and purchase a bracelet for their child then all net proceeds raised go toward the anti-drug programs. To assure success, the project also stresses to parents that the words don’t directly have to relate to drugs and should not be overbearing, “the key is positive reinforcement.” That’s important, otherwise, what kid wants their parent’s constant nagging weighing down their wrist all day?

Now I’m sure all the adults are cooing over this, but the college and high school aged would be embarrassed to death by it. Most in that age range would never wear something like this, but that’s okay. Not only is this bracelet most effective for elementary/early-middle school kids, but they are intended for that group. Studies show that the earlier parents start talking to their kids about this issue, the better. If you’ve waited until high school to say something then your child has most likely worked in at least one of three major drug cartels and grows in your basement.

Even the Downside Has its Upside
Can kids use this in ways which miss the point, making bracelets that say, “You’re a turd burglar” or “Let’s smoke up”? Of course! You’re always going to have a group of kids take it in that direction, but the money they’d spend to do it still goes to the support of anti-drug programs. And, if you’re done being a Pessimistic Peter/Paula, there is an equal chance kids would use this in positive ways with each other–messages of friendship, inside jokes, and encouragement.

The best part of this is that it acts as advertising that isn’t advertising. Instead, it leverages technology in a creative way that gets parents and their children to interact beyond the initial discussion. As one would expect from this project, it’s a sound idea.


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