7 On Your Side
Websites help you create personalized Valentines
Valentine's Day is coming up maybe a little too soon for those who haven't thought of what to give. However, the internet can make it easy to give a unique gift. A group of tech writers came up with a list they call the "Lazy Cupid's Gift Guide" that shows anyone can create custom gifts with just a few clicks of a mouse and very little thinking ahead.
Christopher Pickslay is surprising his wife with a Valentine's Day gift. He's making a flipbook out of a 5-second video showing their son and daughter during a playful moment. "My daughter snuck up and gave Max a kiss on the head and his automatic reaction is to turn around and punch her," he recalled. Christopher is using a FlipBooKit, one of hundreds of online services that allows you to create a personalized gift and produce it quickly.
"You think, 'Oh my gosh. I'm deeply in love, but I forgot to get a gift for somebody,'" says Adam Rogers with Wired magazine, the mag that published the "Lazy Cupid's Gift Guide." It's a way to use new technology to give an old-fashioned gift, with a twist. "One of the reasons we call it the Lazy Cupid's Guide is you don't have to think of this stuff before Christmas. The moment that your little phone alarm goes off, you can say, 'Oh, gift coming, just let me type in this one last thing.'"
Wired gives a few options. Stitchagram gathers random photos off your Instagram account and sews them into a pillow. Chocomize lets you build a chocolate bar dotted with your valentine's favorite foods, everything from bacon to Fruity Pebbles. Then there's the FlipBooKit which Christopher is using. It will take his 5-second video of the couple's children and cut it into 24 frames to make a flipbook.
However, Christopher has spent hours on the project so he's hardly a lazy cupid. "It's definitely more effort than ordering up some flowers," he said. Still, it will truly be a surprise as long as nobody tells Christopher's wife about it. "If you're watching this right now, don't tell Chelsea until after Valentine's Day.
holiday, websites, shopping, 7 on your side, michael finney
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