Giphoscope: the Analog GIF Player

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The other day, while I was browsing the front page of Reddit, I could not miss the fact that GIF images are still popular. No, let me rephrase that, they are really popular. There is something about that 5 second animation that captures our attention. Someone said that GIFs are a “close read to the small moments” of our life, they are the bridge between the real and artificial, between fact and imagination. GIF images are the reason why services like Tumblr got so popular. A lot of teens are embracing this type of image representation because … well, because words are boring. A 5-10 second GIF can capture the entire essence of a 400 words article, and the impact is the same (or more). But what happens when we get to see GIF in real life? This is Giphoscope: The Analog GIF Player.


There are times when images look way better when we can feel them in our hands. They have that sens of realness that can’t be reproduced by computers. Two Italians understood this, and they have came up with a similar concept for analog GIFs, allowing us to see moving pictures in real life. The device is called Giphoscope and is as beautiful as Italian cars!


The Giphoscope is actually an analog GIF player crafted with care and it is dedicated to eccentrics, to museums or art galleries. Marco Calabrese and Alessandro Scali founded the OFFICINA K and they have created this amazing device using an aluminum frame that is mounted on a walnut stand. Each such Giphoscope is unique because the two Italians will transform any specific GIF desired by the customers. When the transformation is completed, the GIF will remain for posterity in individual images, encapsulated in the device. In order to put things in motion, all you have to do is maneuver the lever and the picture will come to life.


The device is inspired by famous Mutoscope, a motion picture device that was patented by Herman Casler in 1894. Its projection uses the same principle of browsing through the pages of a book really fast. If you want to get yourself such a device, you should check the official page. Once you get there, you will learn that you have to spare almost 300 euros in order to have such an exquisite piece of art in own your home.

Since the device got a lot of love in the Reddit community, I want to add few things about it:

  • Although the “mechanical GIF player” may be a more suited name, the manufacturers decided to go with Analog GIF Player
  • The device can be seen and used as an artwork item, not necessarily as a GIF player
  • Its value resides in the quality of the materials used and the finishes

ps. I’m not a native English speaker, so please endure my writing…

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