Listening Post

A prototype exploring the potential impact of Paper Electronics on the music industry

Printed Electronics is an emerging technology with huge potential to change the way people interact with each other and the everyday stuff that’s around them. The field is growing and the UK is home to some of the world’s leading researchers. In 2012 Uniform were invited to present with a panel of musicians, technologists and academics at SXSW in Austin, Texas to discuss what impact Printed Electronics could have on the Music Industry.

Uniform worked with Cambridge Printed Electronics specialists, Novalia and the acclaimed hyper-local music label, Fence Records to explore what could be achieved by combining, conductive inks, paper, standard electronic components and music.

The result was an interactive music listings poster. Like a traditional listings poster, The Listening Post highlights recommendations for gigs in a specific area over a specific period of time. By touching the poster people can hear a sample of each artist’s music. Connecting the poster to the cloud, could enable dynamic content that could be updated: users could subscribe to a service that could provide suggestions based around their tastes, allow them to share recommendations and enable purchasing of both tracks and tickets.

The reverse of the poster is screen-printed with conductive silver ink connected directly to Novalia’s proprietary hardware, which is small and light enough to be attached to the poster directly. In the future it’s envisaged that similar pieces of Paper Electronics could be mass produced using traditional large scale lithographic print production and lightweight, flexible, electronic components redefining the medium through which people engage with digital media and creating new Internet experiences.

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