What if the objects around you could somehow tell their own stories? What if you could look at the stuff surrounding you and see it in a completely new way?

This amazing new app and interactive website, barcode.tv is a unique experience that combines technology, film and the basic things we interact with every day. Chapstick. A stainless steel mixing bowl. Microwave. Chewing gum.

By scanning the barcode on the back of an object or searching for it in the barcode.tv database, a short 60 second documentary film is unlocked which gives new insight into how we perceive these every day items.

It all comes courtesy of 30 Canadian and European filmmakers who cover a variety of genres and perspectives. Scanning the barcode on a case of diapers might unlock a film featuring an adorable baby kicking and squirming on a blanket while a woman’s voice in the background calmly rattles off alarming statistics about how many times your baby will spit up, and how much you’ll spend on school supplies. Search for the word radio, and you could be transported into the cluttered workshop of a French-speaking Canadian man who’s been repairing radios for more than 50 years and finds parts hard to come by.

You may be wondering how these filmmakers could possibly create a film for every single object we interact with each day. They haven’t. But they’ve framed our stuff into 14 categories which serve as the basis for each film.

While I like to think of myself as a pretty creative person, I have to admit, I felt like I didn’t “get” this website and app when I first checked it out. But the more I scan and search for items, and the more films I watch, the more I’m impressed. The films really make you think differently about that cup of coffee on your desk or the toaster you used during breakfast.

It’s an impressive reminder that even everyday items have a story to tell. -Molly

Barcode.tv is an interactive website from the Film Board of Canada, and is also available for iPhone in the iTunes store.

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