Introducing the Locket of the 21st Century: 3D Printed MEMENTO Holds Your Digital Memories Close to Your Heart

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1053bcc903998cdd798e78d5628baa8f_originalIn terms of personalized jewelry, it’s hard to get more personal than the locket. While the gold or silver necklaces, often in the shape of a heart or oval, may be mass-produced, it’s what’s inside that makes them unique and precious to the wearer. They’re a way to keep the things that are most meaningful to us – a photo of a loved one, a lock of a baby’s hair, even a small dried flower – close to us at all times, while at the same time looking beautiful.

We often hear about the creative ways 3D printing is being used to update classic things, and lockets are no exception. Design studio mode++ has come up with the most modern of lockets: a 3D printed pendant that holds a tiny video screen that wearers can program to play their favorite family videos.

The MEMENTO, which is currently raising funds on Kickstarter, consists of a 3D printed enclosure that surrounds a TinyScreen+ from open-source electronics company TinyCircuits. A microSD card can be loaded with the wearer’s personal videos, which are then played back on the screen for up to four hours before the lithium ion battery needs to be charged. Of course, the wearer isn’t limited to family videos – the MEMENTO can also be used to play artistic, aesthetic or even marketing-related videos.

“Think of the MEMENTO as the video locket of the 21st century, instead of storing a single image you can store as many videos as the SD card can hold,” mode++ tells 3DPrint.com. “The MEMENTO is a fashion accessory where you can showcase your brand.”

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mode++ was founded by Margarita Benitez, fashion technologist and assistant professor at the Kent State University Fashion School, and Markus Vogl, multimedia artist and graphic design professor at the University of Akron’s Myers School of Art. The two have been working together for over a decade under the moniker benitez_vogl, and we’ve covered some of their remarkable work before. mode++ is their new fashion-oriented startup, dedicated to wearable technology, and MEMENTO is their first product.

To launch MEMENTO, mode++ is trying to raise $7,500 by June 23. There are still some super early bird rewards left: for $89 ($30 less than the retail price of $119), you’ll get a full MEMENTO kit, which consists of:

  • 3D printed case in your choice of brown, yellow, blue, orange, pink, green, red, white, or black
  • TinyCircuits TinyScreen+
  • TinyCircuits SD Card Board
  • MicroSD Card, pre-loaded with videos so you can see how the MEMENTO works before loading your own content
  • MicroSD Card reader
  • Rubber necklace to hold the MEMENTO
  • USB charging cable
  • MEMENTO sticker

memento_01Regular early bird rewards offer you the same for $99, and a pledge of $170 gets you two kits, while $245 gets you three. There are also rewards, such as stickers and T-shirts, for lower pledges. The MEMENTO enclosures are 3D printed in nylon, but in the future, mode++ intends to try different materials and to work with artists and designers to create custom enclosures with special-edition, artist-specific video content.

I can see this being a great promotional tool for artists and designers, particularly those who work in digital media. Plus, it just looks really neat, especially when programmed to play videos of bright, abstract images like those shown in the Kickstarter video, which you can see below. The glittering screens will undoubtedly be major attention-getters when worn on a night out. Imagine what a great gift one of these would make, too – for a wedding anniversary, as one example. Wearing one’s wedding video around one’s neck is an idea that, I suspect, many brides would love.

Besides being cool, MEMENTO is a conscientious brand, with a zero waste philosophy.

“The MEMENTO is produced on demand, a sustainable way of production,” Benitez and Vogl tell us. “We only 3D print the cases we actually sell, no need for overproduction or plastic waste.”

MEMENTO is a really unique idea; I’ve never seen anything quite like it before, so I highly recommend checking out the Kickstarter. You can also watch the video below. Discuss further in the MEMENTO 3D Printed Pendant forum over at 3DPB.com.

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