Wish Candles transformed a common, real-life ritual into an interactive digital experience.  The user journey starts with lighting an electronic match by striking it on a match box. Then the user can light candles using the match’s light and blow them out making a wish. Although the candles are made with LED bulbs, they softly flicker like real candle lights creating a sacred atmosphere. The experience doesn’t end here. After the users blow out all the candles and enjoy a following shooting star event on the screen in front of them, they find their pictures secretly taken while blowing out the candles.  These are surprising gifts which will later remind them the moment of making their wishes. Users can choose whether they personally keep the picture or not by nodding or shaking their head.

This project originally started with the idea of blowing LED candles, but in addition to it, we also wanted to give users a complete experience and something valuable than just an interesting  interaction of blowing. Therefore, we first added the step of lighting a match so that the user can begin the journey by themselves. For more authentic feeling, we added a match-striking sound and fire-burning sound to the match. These sounds strongly engage the users. After all the candle lights are turned off, the shooting stars and the short melody of ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ extend the user’s thought about their wishes and next, the surprising picture gives additional fun that normal candles cannot offer. We used the nodding/shaking head motion as the input method of deciding whether the users want to receive their pictures or not. This is because we didn’t want to interrupt the experience which consists of natural interactions so far by suddenly giving them a keyboard or a button. Finally, we built a booth to provide users an independent room considering the fact that this is in general, rather private and secret experience.

In terms of design, we were afraid the candles might look a bit cheesy or childish if we apply a birthday concept to them. We rather wanted to focus on the theme ‘Wish’ and generally give a silent and divine mood. Therefore, we minimized the decoration of the cake and candles by making them with black acrylic sheets and tubes. The black acrylic material not only make the candle lights look better but also the number of them look more by reflecting them.

The whole process of the project is like below:

You can also see more stories about our Wish Candles in Hye Ryeong’s blog: http://www.hyershin.com/wish-candles/

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