Since mankind built societies they sought for an easy way to make their cultural heritage tangible.


Totem is basically a intermediary device of cylindrical shape that can be applied to keys and pockets via key-chain. Like other other storage-devices it is mainly used for data transportation, but with its characteristic spherical tip its usage is completely different. One can easily spot the Totem-locks, apply the device to one hole, slide it through the tunnel and retrieve it after taking it out of the other opening. Like an old deadbolt lock. At the end the eBook-order is stored. (cloud also)

What is the core principle of your idea?

I was searching for a haptical connection between the act of buying something electronical, but did not want to generate a lot more waste to our eco-system. I also not wanted to use the concept of common USB-sticks which are more connected to electronics. With a totally new device, that is used like a key, customers and interested parties regain the feeling of "doing" something to get access to news, eBooks, promotions and so on. All stored on a set customer account. Checkout at the cashier.

Can your idea be applied to different formats (in a bookstore, at a trade fair, at a conference)?

Totem could be easily used in different formats. First of all the sign (the shape) can be vary in color (genres of books) and can be seen from afar. The Totem station could be an easy to build stand that has a Barcode-Scanner ready so the user can scan the book, then slide the Totem through the lock and continue shopping. At conferences and trade fairs the Totem could be a giveaway along with chains/trays/customizations which could make it haptical but also fun to trade and think over.

Would it be possible to turn your idea into a reality, or at least create a prototype of it, at short notice, i.e. by the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2014?

I have no doubt that this really easy and fun to use product could be built in a short amount of time. Even the stand, which could be arranged to the very character of the existing publishers lounge, would be a light task to realise.

What do you estimate the costs for the prototype or the final implementation of your idea to be?

Totem prototype: For I am no technician nor coder, I can only assume that the costs would be around 1.000€ for a working prototype. Considering building the casing, the function of the sphere shaped tip, testing with different store-systems. Maybe bluetooth would work fine in the beginning to get rid of excessive hours of coding. Stand prototype: Depending on the customers wishes. Considering normal shop furniture around 400-900€ each