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Old 06-06-2007, 11:15 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Paper Four: Digital paper that talks to you

So you thought electronic paper that resembles normal paper is all en vogue? What about electronic paper that actually talks to you when you're touching it? Some Swedish university whizzes had the ingenious idea to equip a large billboard with a pressure-sensitive electronically conductive ink that, when it is touched, delivers embedded digital informations back via "printed speakers."

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The same technology has been used in a prototype for a 'music display board.' On this slightly bowed board, a number of music albums are printed directly on paper. Just as with a regular sound system, you can sample music by touching the front of the album. The sound is then streamed right out of the paper. The board can easily be replaced as soon as there are new recordings to be marketed. This new display technology is inexpensive, combining images, sound, and space in a new an environmentally friendly way. After use, the displays can be tossed into the recycle bin. View a video of a large display board at http://mkv.itm.miun.se/projekt/paperfour/.
Direct link to the video (mp4): download

[via Engadget]
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Old 06-06-2007, 11:43 AM   #2
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Nice idea! Combine that tech with e-ink, so it can refresh and be reusable, and you've got the next great display system!
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Old 06-06-2007, 11:50 AM   #3
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If anybody touches a poster around me I'll rap him behind the head!

Seriously! There's just too much noise already. There are people actively working at reducing noise pollution, why bring more? To show we can?

Museums that have interactive sound displays are starting to replace them with personal headphone systems. And they are the only worthy recipiendaries of such technologies.

Any one know of other applications that would not cause rapping incidents?
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Old 06-06-2007, 01:48 PM   #4
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Any one know of other applications that would not cause rapping incidents?
E-Books for the Blind, perhaps?

You'll be glad to know, yvanleterrible, that I'm planning to get a nice, quiet, electric mower for the new yard.
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Old 06-06-2007, 01:58 PM   #5
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Two good ideas! An eink mower?
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:03 PM   #6
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Assumption: people who want to listen to stuff usually have an iPod (or equivalent)

Let's talk Steve Jobs into sponsoring a standard which would use low-power FM to broadcast to a common channel that iPods would be able to receive. Then this could be used for displays like the above, as well as in museums, theatres, and in other places that have broadcast for hearing aids (like the Quaker Meeting I attend), etc. The iPod++ should pick up one or more of the frequencies already used by such systems. So not only would people with this kind of iPod be able to get hearing assistance in a variety of places, but the rest of us wouldn't have to listen to the extra noise generated by these displays.

Just a thought....
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:14 PM   #7
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Just a thought....
It's a good thought.
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:24 PM   #8
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I could see that !
But let's say someone around you touches an other image... what a cacophony. You'd need a frequency for every image!

BTW iPods don't do FM unless you have the optional tuner. I found out the expensive way. It looked like a tiny Apple FM tuner, great! I bought it. Found out you need the iPod to make it work...

I'd see an other system based on your idea. When coming in the exhibit, you download the whole message base. When you pass next to one of these pictures, if you wish it, it triggers it's part of the download. It could be done with a bar code or RF device belonging to the exhibit that you plug on the iPod or other usb active device.
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:54 PM   #9
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Hm. RFID might have some use after all....
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Old 06-09-2007, 09:04 AM   #10
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You don't need to compound this with RFIDs, iPods and downloads... just combine it with highly directional speakers, the kind museums are using now, and only the person(s) within touching range would hear a particular image. Then do a bit of spacing them apart.
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Old 06-09-2007, 11:28 AM   #11
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The Museum of Fine Arts in Montréal already uses a personal sound system that is popular. It's a rental in two parts. Headphones and a numeric paddle.
When you come to a work it is numbered. Press the corresponding digits and a narration starts about it in the language of your choice.

All in all effective and quiet to neighbouring contemplatives.
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