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For Valentine's Day, the Lovebox is a better gift than flowers

This small wooden box is a precious way to let people know you love them.

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The Lovebox is a unique way to let a loved one know that you're thinking of them.

Angela Lang/CNET

Valentine's Day can be a divisive holiday: There are people who love to celebrate it and others who dread being alone. One gadget out to change that is an ingenious digital-analog wooden box called the Lovebox. It's built for sharing love notes, drawings and positive thoughts with the person you love most.

The Lovebox aims to be an alternative to sending flowers or taking your loved one out to dinner. And while texts, photos and video messages can express your feelings, they tend to get lost in the flood of daily notifications we receive, which is why a French company launched the Lovebox. Its singular purpose is to let your special someone know you love them.

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The Lovebox sits in your loved one's home and connects to the internet via Wi-Fi. You send your special someone a short message or drawing with the Lovebox app available on iOS and Android. When the box receives the message, an itsy-bitsy red heart spins like a pinwheel. The heart continues to spin until your main squeeze lifts the lid to read the message on the diminutive display.

There is something precious about a tiny little heart on a small wooden cube spinning in silence. It is such a simple hallmark to symbolize that you're loved. When you open the lid it feels like you've discovered a secret message.

Everything about this box is endearing and unassuming: the size, the curved corners, the silent way the heart spins and even the black-and-white display. It is refreshing to see how Lovebox integrates messaging into something so discreet. There are no loud notifications or lights to get your attention -- just a palm-sized spinning heart.

The Lovebox costs $100, which converts to about £75 or AU$140, and can be ordered on the Lovebox website. If you want it to arrive before Valentine's Day, Lovebox recommends you place the order by 11 p.m. PT on Sunday Feb. 10.

First published Jan. 11, 2018.
Update, Feb. 8, 2019: Adds details about ordering for Valentine's Day 2019.

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