Whisper Jar

My youngest sister had a storybook wedding. She and her husband held their ceremony in our parent’s back yard, as sun faded to dusk on a perfect June night. It was tailor-made for the two of them: an amazing blend of of nostalgia, playfulness, whimsy, and adventure. I knew I needed to make them a gift that could hold up to that standard.

Enter: the Whisper Jar. It’s a mason jar that holds memories, which are whispered back out when you open the lid.

At the wedding, I secretly recorded all of the speeches, toasts, and vows, and later put all the edited WAV files onto an SD card. Inside the jar, there’s an Arduino Pro, amp/speaker, and Adafruit wave shield, which plays a clip randomly from the card when the jar is opened. It’s all powered by a Lithium battery—the jar sits in a homemade charging cradle (a hacked “wireless” cell phone charger), but once removed, has enough power to carry with you for a while.

Here’s a closer look at its innards… yes, I know I could have made it smaller, and if I did it again I probably would. Trying to fit a wide stack of electronics into a jar was a bit like building a ship in a bottle.