At this point, buying the perfect gift is like playing Risk and hoping you’re making the right moves. But what if you could take out the guessing and gift someone your feelings?

Aura is an app that lets you create a necklace pendant made from your own emotions, that is then 3D printed by Shapeways and cast in precious metal. Yes, it sounds super gimmicky at first, but after trying it out for myself, I gotta say, it’s pretty genius. It’s like a meditation app, a catharsis exercise, that allows you to also give someone the gift of your feelings made tangible.

The actual UX of the app is simple and easy, which is pretty nice seeing as the tech and implementation that goes into the 3D printing of the pendant is probably very complicated.

Advertisement

After a short intro from an incredibly calming voice that I want to wake up to in the morning, all you do is hold your finger gently over your phone’s camera (the flash will automatically turn on). The app “records your heartbeat” and then, once it syncs up, tells you to “feel free to tell your love story.” Keep your finger on the camera and just breath, or say something, or cry, or yell, or do whatever you feel like. This (somehow) is what tangles and twists the design of the pendant.

I was skeptical about it at first. Will it take half an hour to go through the process? Will my voice or breath create a shitty looking pendant that looks like a wormhole? But, I was pleasantly surprised when I finished the program on the app and created a sun-like pendant that would sit nicely on any chain. After a couple weeks, it arrived looking like a shiny, futuristic coin. The only downside is finding a chain for it.

Photo: Jillian Lucas

There’s a lot to unpack with Aura, but what really matters is that even though the concept and approach is simple, the product is just as complicated and beautiful as our emotions are.