I Can’t Hear, Turn Your Paper Down

listeningpost2It’s a funny little world. While we’re constantly being bombarded with new gimmicks designed to bring paper into the 21st century (augmented reality, QR codes, etc.), truly groundbreaking innovations seem to fly quietly beneath the radar. One of the most promising was unveiled at last month’s South by Southwest in Austin.

At the festival, a paper poster called “The Listening Post” was displayed, hyping local bands with a thumbnail image for each. When pressed, the image played a short clip of that band’s music. It also allowed you to book tickets.

listeningpost1A product of a partnership between British technology firm Novalia, Dr. Jon Rogers of the University of Dundee, musician King Creosote and art group Found, the poster combines “printed conductive ink trails with a small circuit board holding a speaker and a small amount of memory,” explains the BBC. That ink can be applied using a traditional printing press.

While it’s expected to be a couple of years before paper-with-sound moves beyond the experimental stage, when it does, chances are it will be connected to the Web, meaning paper content that can be updated remotely as well.

We now return you to those less spectacular paper gimmicks already in progress.



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