Sara Elkhatib Image Credit: Supplied

Growing up in Dubai, Sara Elkhatib had always wanted to be an architect. She graduated from the College of Engineering, Abu Dhabi University with a distinction, but then life had other plans in store for her. As a young mother, Sara found herself taking an interest in personalized livable art gifts using augmented reality. She started experimenting by using voices, sounds, photographs and videos of people and incorporating them into customized art forms. “Because of my passion for graphics and arts, I kept on learning new things and enrolled in new courses and with the support of my husband realised my true passion,” says Sara.

Sara’s specialised artwork pieces includes “sound waves art” and special customised “mosaics art” pieces. She says, “I turn people’s voices into soundwaves and these soundwaves are then turned into art in a form of a physical frame or a gift,” explains Sara who displays her work on her Instagram page gifto.designs.

According to Sara, while many of us document important milestones in our lives by taking photographs, we do not always publish them on our social media platforms or even save photographs in the right way to savour them later. It could be our babies’ first steps or our wedding vows. Augmented reality allows this content to be present without searching through our photo every time we want to revisit a special moment in life.

Augmented reality is the rendering of digital images or data onto real-world objects, explains Sara. “AR gifts help save your precious memories,” says Sara who with the help of her husband and a few friends has created her own augmented reality app that is used to create AR art and personalised gifts and keepsakes.

“Each art piece I create for my clients can now be upgraded from having a regular QR code to an augmented reality gift frame and keepsake”. The mosaic, soundwave art frames Sara creates has several photos that form a soundwave. “The mosaic photo design has hundreds of smaller photos creating the bigger one. Many of our designs come with a QR code incorporating the hidden messages or music but now using our AR app, anything can be programmed to play a video,” she says.

“People can actually use these frames in many ways, such as playing their memories alive or saving them for future. Whenever they scan their frames the videos will start to play – it’s a touching gift that conveys a message without the need to say it aloud. Our app can also play the video from an engraving on an object, such as a wedding ring for example.”

According to Sara, “These livable art frames can be really heart touching and they have brought happy tears to my clients. For example, one of my clients once made a soundwave art frame for her husband using her baby’s heartbeat. When I incorporated the baby’s heart beat and a message from the mom who got pregnant after years of trying for a baby, it was a very precious moment for the family.”