Well not quite, because we still have a few days left to find those special gifts eluding us. A talking greeting card may be a little corny, but perhaps we should include a few ‘jest for fun’. Did you ever wonder how these wish you Merry Christmas when you open them up?
The Bits and Bobs that Wish You Happiness
If we cut open a talking greeting card, we find an unruly mix. This includes state-of-art microelectronics, basic mechanics, and good old-fashioned economics. The quality is cheap because the product is a throwaway. The switch itself is distinctly rural. However the lithium battery, chip, and speaker all have noble pedigrees.
Advanced Technology in a Talking Card
The battery shares the same technology that drives electric cars, and powers satellites high up in the sky. The speaker waiting to wish you Merry Christmas works just like the one in your phone.
It makes sounds by vibrating the air with an electromagnet or small crystal. The voice is tinny because it is too small to make low frequencies.
The sound chip traces its DNA back to telephone answering machines. It records in analog and plays back in analog. This saves the cost (and bulk) of analog-to-digital, and digital-back-to-analog converters. The system is now ready to wish you Merry Christmas. It just needs a trigger, or if you like, human intervention.
Draw Back the Curtains and Open the Card
When we open a talking greetings card, a paper tab slides away from between two contacts.
This then sends an electrical signal from the battery telling the audio to start. After that, the chip plays the message from the beginning to the end, and resets.
That is all there is to talking greetings cards, and singing ones for that matter too. We are off to dream of a White Christmas tucked up in bed.