Put down the box of grade-school valentines and back away slowly. This Valentine’s Day, skip the drug store stationery aisle and share your feelings with the one you love with a personalized message. Here are 11 simple ways to take your Valentine’s cards—and your romance—up a notch with smart tech.
1. Go Digital
Take your romance (or secret crush) into the 21st century by sending an e-card this February. By using an app like Sweet Greets, which allows you to incorporate photos and personal messages into the design, you can enjoy the ease of e-mail without sacrificing the thoughtfulness of a real card.
2. Customize Your Card
If you know your sweetheart will accept only a tangible, put-it-in-a-scrapbook, save-it-until-it-disintegrates paper card, Red Stamp is the service for you. Just pick the design that speaks to you from the hundreds Red Stamp has available, add your favorite photo, write a heartfelt message, choose your envelope and Red Stamp does the rest—no glue, scissors, or mess involved. Or save your darling a step and create a beautiful scrapbook of your time together. With ScrapPad, you can design your scrapbook on your tablet and have a hard copy of the book professionally printed and delivered to your home.
3. Write a Poem
Roses are red, violets are blue, poetry is hard—what the heck are we doing? If Shakespeare taught us anything, it’s that nothing says romance like a perfectly crafted sonnet. But how, exactly, does one perfectly craft a sonnet? The app iWrite: Love Poems can turn even the most reluctant philistine into a poet by walking the user through the poem-writing and revision process step by step. You can choose from eight different poetic forms, and then simply follow the prompts until your thoughts and feelings have been put into lyrical verse.
4. Say It in Your Own Words
Whisper sweet nothings in your love’s ear this Valentine’s Day with a little help from a voice messaging app. Apps like WhatsApp let you record a voice message to your phone and send just like you would a text message. It’s like voice mail—without the risk of the recipient actually answering the call to chat.
5. Send a Song
Why stop with a voice message? When you’re at a loss for words, let one of history’s best singers do the talking for you. Use the song messaging app La-La to say “I love you” by sending a snippet of your favorite love song.
6. Have Your Message Delivered in Person
For those times when you can’t be there, use the Somebody app to deliver your message by proxy. Created by the filmmaker, writer, and artist Miranda July, Somebody enlists the help of a volunteer located in the recipient’s vicinity to find your loved one and tell him or her whatever you wish. You can even provide stage directions for your Somebody proxy, in case you want a hug to accompany your expression of affection.
7. Add Another Dimension
Skip the card completely this year and demonstrate your love by giving a 3D figurine. Using a service like 3DMe, you can have your favorite couples photo transformed into a small sculpture to keep on your mantle or desk at work.
8. Make It Interactive
This Valentine’s Day, take your significant other on a trip down memory lane by creating a personalized scavenger hunt with an app like Stray Boots or Scavify. Send your beloved to the landmarks of your relationship (the coffee shop where you met, the movie theater where you had your first date), ask questions about your time together, or complete fun tasks (take a photo with the mascot of your college) in order to earn a final prize—or find you waiting at the end.
9. Say It With Sweets
Even second-graders know that the best valentines come with candy. But leave the conversation hearts to the kids and instead send a customized sweet to your sweet. Chocomize lets you create a one-of-a-kind chocolate bar for your dearest that’s chock-full of his or her favorite ingredients, be they nuts, dried fruits, or candy. As the finishing touch, add an “I love you!” message.
10. Get Help from a Friend
Everyone who follows your girlfriend on Instagram knows that she loves her furry friend almost as much as she loves you. So why not incorporate Whiskers into your Valentine’s Day salutation? Upload a photo of your pet to Cuddle Clones and they’ll create a plush version in its likeness.
11. Add Some Sparkle
Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade goods and independent retailers, is bursting with creative ways to shower your love with love. In lieu of a separate card, integrate your Valentine’s message into your gift with these custom jewelry display cards, made by HomegrownGems. The only downside is, your beloved may be too distracted by the bling to linger on your heartfelt words.
Once you’ve nabbed the perfect card, gift, or greeting, you’ll want to capture the look on your sweetheart’s face when they open it. With Intel® RealSense™ snapshot, you’ll be able to measure just how big that smile was. Learn more here.