Flowers, chocolate and cards are among the most common gifts given on Valentine’s Day. For the more munificent, gifts can also include jewellery or dinner at the restaurant. And while these gifts adhere to a certain tradition, could they not be updated by near-replicate technologies?
While it has long been a tradition in schools in the United States for children to give Valentine’s Day cards to their classmates, the giving of cards is reported to have begun back in 1415 when the Duke of Orleans sent a poem to his wife imprisoned in the Tower of London on Valentine’s Day. Nowadays, a text message decorated with emojis can replace a card.
According to the emoji search engine, emojipedia, some of the most popular emojis sent on Valentine’s Day include two hearts, a red heart, a face blowing a kiss and a rose. All are available to insert from the emoji keyboard available on major platforms. But this year, new options are available.
Earlier this month, the Unicode Consortium published its new emojis for 2019 with the intention of providing emojis that are more inclusive of all types of people, ethnicities and relationships. For Valentine’s Day, you can select an emoji for two gender inclusive people holding hands, with the possibility to choose between different skin tones for each person.
Think of the many things that can be made with a 3D printer, including flowers and jewellery for Valentine’s Day. For her wedding last year, one ingenious bride used her 3D printer to make her 200 blue and glow-in-the-dark flowers that she used in her floral bouquets. But because the process is time-consuming – requiring over 100 hours of the bride’s time – it is not quite as easy as a last-minute dash to the florist.
Another very much a niche market, 3D printers for chocolate molding also exist. They can be used to personalize shape, messages and chocolate blends. One company offers the possibility of printing a chocolate replica of your Valentine’s head atop of a chocolate bar.
IEC is actively involved in the development of 3D printing standards through ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 28.
Tech jewellery, pets and dinner
Instead of a gold bracelet, how about a wearable tracker that can help your Valentine’s measure steps and heartbeats?
Wearable devices such as smart watches and fitness trackers are increasingly being used for health reasons or to connect to other devices such as the smart phone. Communications is simplified and health data can be easily monitored. According to CCS Insight, the worldwide market for smart wearable devices will be worth USD 27 billion by 2022.
Many Valentine’s may not want the responsibility required as part of the care of a pet. Robots can serve as a suitable replacement with many offering the cuteness associated with a pet but without the responsibility of the care. Some are furry and can bear close resemblance to a cat while others embrace fully their robotic features. One model, shown at CES 2019, uses technologies such as sensors to track and follow its owner.
If dinner needs to be cooked on Valentine’s Day, many smart appliances can simplify the process. From smart fridges to smart ovens, amateur cooks can be guided through the preparation. Smart fridges can let you know what is inside or read out a recipe. Smart ovens can determine the temperature and cook time your meal will require.
But, if making dinner is too much of a hassle, you can always ask your voice assistant to order a meal directly to your home.
Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!