the line

2020 ArtElectronicsDockerNode.jsPersonal Project
the phones make a great conversation starter.
electronics assembly

My best friends and I always stay in contact. But sometimes, a small personal greeting can get lost under a pile of text messages, WhatsApp stickers, snapchats or Instagram DMs.

THE LINE makes sending short, ephemeral personal messages fun again and is a great conversation starter for parties.

The system consists of four modified rotary phones each painted in a different bright color. The antique internals were replaced with modern single board computers and the numbers on the rotary dials were replaced by emojis.

The phones connect to a central service called THE OPERATOR, which is a public Telegram bot. If a user wants to send a message to one or more of their friends, they simply send a voice memo to the Telegram bot. After choosing the recipients, the corresponding phones ring.

When the earpiece is picked up from the phone, the operator with ever-changing moods (voiced by the Google Cloud TTS service) reads the messages to them like an answering machine. Whoever answered the call can respond to each of the messages with a single emoji.

THE LINE is a whimsical and tactile way to deliver simple short messages to your best friends.

Built by Dario Breitenstein / H. Franz / L. Fluri

GitHub: Client / Server