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Communications Displays Science Technology

Touch Sensitive Paper With Built-In Speakers 83

Posted by Zonk
from the menu-won't-stop-singing-please-take-it-away dept.
The Bongo King writes "There have been several stories about digital paper discussed here on the site recently, but an offering from Swedish research scientists has a new twist. They have made a prototype billboard of interactive paper with built-in flat loudspeakers apparently also made of paper. 'Touch sensors are made using a fine pattern of conductive lines in which the current flow is altered when a hand touches it. Laptop computer touchpads use the same principle. Speakers are made by printing electromagnets out of conductive ink and stretching the paper over a cavity like a speaker cone behind the billboard. The electromagnets vibrate in response to a current, creating a sound.'"
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Touch Sensitive Paper With Built-In Speakers

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  • by creimer (824291) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @05:03PM (#19429519) Homepage
    Can't wait for the day when I can write "/." and the paper screams, "Hey, dork, you spelled 'Slashdot' wrong."
    • That paper would get tired trying to tell me all of my spelling mistakes - spellcheck for the pen and pencil set would be pretty cool though.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by creimer (824291)
        I don't think I want to go to a coffee house where an artist is having an argument with his paper over a drawing of the hot Goth chick serving coffee. Although it might interesting if the hot Goth chick's boyfriend shows up, and the paper tells him how ugly his girlfriend looks. I'm sure the artist would be changing papers in a hurry. :P
    • by Roadkills-R-Us (122219) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @07:07PM (#19431101) Homepage
      ...will scan your fingerprints, and if you aren't cleared for the document, the paper can start singing "you can't touch this!"
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by snickkers (1023847)
      It looks like you're attempting to write a letter. Would you like to....
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Now wake me up when they invent a talking pie.
  • Oh god no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cbuskirk (99904) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @05:11PM (#19429601)
    5 years from now you will walk down the isle in a grocery store and every box will be animating and screaming buy me like the cereal box in Minority Report.
    • by 7Prime (871679) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @05:22PM (#19429761) Homepage Journal
      Actually, that's a really good idea. Never saw Minority Report. What could be better than video advertsing ON THE PACKAGING!

      I work in advertising, I'll have to have a talk with my boss about this.
      • by lawpoop (604919)
        Don't get your hopes up just yet; it's only sound.
        • by swillden (191260) *

          Don't get your hopes up just yet; it's only sound.

          Don't forget that new thin-film display technology from Sony. If it gets cheap enough...

      • by Chatsubo (807023)
        Just imagine the porn magazines.... Of course, you wouldn't want the condom packs in the store to blurt out: "Hi John! Want the rough rider again like last time? Or can we reccomend something new? Glow-in-the-dark? Susan will love it." At which point, Jane leaves.
      • by taff^2 (188189)
        You work in advertising? Cool, I've got a great new advertising medium for you. You take all the advertising agencies worldwide and send them to the centre of the sun. From there your clients message can ride the solar winds to the furthest edges of the galaxy. Don't forget your sun-tan lotion though.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by clarkkent09 (1104833)
      Ever walked down the toy section at wallmart (or was it toys'r'us, can't remember). There are toys in packaging with sensors that detect people walking by and set off the sales pitch when you get close enough. Its quite startling, not to mention annoying.
      • The employees must love them. I know how much they adore those exposed 'try me' buttons.
        • by Obfuscant (592200)
          As an ex-employee of a pinball parlor, from the 80's, I can report that my absolute favorite pinball was Gorgar, whose lack of bilabial fricatives in it's early-gen speech generator had it endlessly calling "I'm Gorgar, eat me." Or perhaps it was deliberate?

          That, and the golf game with the music that was just that much out of tune.

    • by Fordiman (689627)
      That's kinda a nightmare use for them.

      On the other side of the futurist spectrum, I'm kinda looking forward to finding random fun easter eggs on my packaging.
  • Today (Score:2, Insightful)

    Paper is now banned in schools, as the repeat playing of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" caused much ruckus.
  • Origami (Score:3, Funny)

    by Tribbin (565963) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @05:14PM (#19429639) Homepage
    Making a tweeting bird that moves it's eyes and responds to you touching it and all from a single digital paper.
  • Noise pollution? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zironic (1112127) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @05:24PM (#19429781)
    I think we probably need new laws against noise pollution fast. I really don't look forward to billboards speaking to me.
    • by Wicko (977078)
      They could do it already if they wanted, billboards aren't exactly designed to be space reducing, would be very easy to throw on a few speakers.. you wouldn't need this expensive paper to do it..
    • I'm sure that before billboards were widely used, people thought of them and large and obnoxious, whereas humans became adjusted to them and filtered them out of their lives.

      With time, perhaps sound will become the same?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Meski (774546)
      Argh. Sorry, but the answer to things you don't like is not more micromanagement laws.
    • by bronney (638318)
      Don't worry, when the mass hate something enough that's shown publicly, it will be destroyed at around 3am at night. Now if you put protection around it, then it'll lose its use as a touch paper.
    • I really don't look forward to billboards speaking to me.

      Then again, that cute girl in the eyeglasses ad...

      - RG>
    • by owlstead (636356)
      I was in Portugal/Lisbon and they had these billboards already. Could not see the speaker, but it must have been behind the paper somewhere. Damn annoying, even if I could not hear what they were saying. It was something like 'ring' 'ring' and then a lady said you needed to go to some operator. God, if I would have lived in that city I would have demolished every billboard I could find. Then again, this is a country where they have someone shouting over the speakers during a soccer game on the top of their
  • by Anonymous Coward
    once advertisers get a hold of this material, and they start showing up all over the place with irritating ads that scream at you, will either be the day I commence a campaign of BRUTAL city-wide vandalism, or I give up and move into the woods.
  • by Bimkins (242641) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @05:26PM (#19429797)
    How do we make this work with porn magazines?

    You know it's gonna happen...
  • Enviromental (Score:5, Insightful)

    by king-manic (409855) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @05:45PM (#19430029)
    If you thought over packaging was bad now. Imagine a cereal box with 1/4 of it reserve for the battery that powers the digital paper display and 1/4 reserved for the speaker. The remaining 1/2 will be food facimille made of phosoric acid, aspertame, Hydrogenated vegetable oil, and recycled newspaper print.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      In other words, in the future we will get more food for the volume of the box.
    • Re:Enviromental (Score:4, Informative)

      by timeOday (582209) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @07:47PM (#19431523)
      Time Magazine just ran this interesting photo essay called "what people eat." One of the interesting things to notice is how much wasteful packaging [time.com] we use compared to those [time.com] who still eat mainly for nutrition. Which is not to say I'd like to live like a refugee, only that it's a shame quality food can't be packaged without all that expense and waste [nyc.gov]: "Only about 9 percent of the cost of a box of cereal is for the cereal -- the other 91 percent of the cost is for the package and advertising." Unfortunately we humans are suckers for outwards appearance.
      • by swillden (191260) *

        "Only about 9 percent of the cost of a box of cereal is for the cereal -- the other 91 percent of the cost is for the package and advertising."

        That's why the generic cereal that comes in big bags is so much cheaper, usually 1/4 the price, or even less. Often, it's exactly the same stuff as in the small, brightly-colored boxes with the nationally-recognized brand names.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by lessthan (977374)
          Sorry, this is totally OT, but your sig drives me crazy. Morons have to die sometime, but a stupid idea can last forever.
      • by sco08y (615665)
        One of the interesting things to notice is how much wasteful packaging [time.com] we use compared to those [time.com] who still eat mainly for nutrition.

        The packaging acts to *prevent* waste from spoilage and damage.

        And I had a long debate argument with a friend about the whole canard that "just 10% of the cost is for the food." To get from grain growing in a field to become a box of cereal in a convenience store, there are hundreds of people who added a little bit of value at each stage of production. They
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rowlingj (118872)
      No, Birds. Think of the birds! Birds sit on signs, crap on signs, nest on signs. Not any longer: Bird lands on sign. Sign detects small conductivity along top edge and blurts out annoying local species alarm call.
      But why stop at birds? everywhere you put the sign in train stations, the rear / underside could be sensitive to (say) rats and might squark some ultrasonic move-along signal.
    • by baKanale (830108)
      Oh, so the same as now, but with free batteries.
    • Well, the quarter for a battery can be removed by using wireless power (qv Slashdot [slashdot.org], also today). So you'll just get radiated cereal, instead of over-packaged cereal.
  • I can see it coming! You go to the store, pay 1$ and the system prints out a piece of paper. You fold it a few times and you have a set of headphones. Now you can listen to the song you just bought for 1$ and once it has played it is no good. Just crumple it up and throw the thing away.

    What about printed cell phones? or printed greeting cards that deliver your message to the intended victim, I mean recipient?

    I personally would love to see some one wall paper there living room with it. Touch here and the wal
  • by cashman73 (855518) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @05:51PM (#19430101) Journal
    The RIAA is already planning their next major lawsuit against the paper industry,...
  • So a good novelty item might be disposable electronic talking paper. Maybe it can give feedback as it's being, um, used. "no, you missed a spot."
  • Now what we need is a way to get those conductive inks to work with something like eInk dynamically changable images where icons detect touch via conducted electricity, low cost sound coming from your 1-page rollup newspaper. Probably tricky to get the current to flow across e-ink pixels that way though. Though, even if you couldn't get the e-ink parts to be touch sensitive, little conductive UI panels in the corners for forward/back touch spots wouldn't suck. Now all thats needed is flexible paper-thin pow
  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @09:04PM (#19432237) Journal
    Speakers are made by printing electromagnets out of conductive ink and stretching the paper over a cavity like a speaker cone behind the billboard. The electromagnets vibrate in response to a current, creating a sound.'"

    Sounds like a lot of current and associated structure to get this to work.

    Why not just use plastic piezoelectric benders? Then the paper will talk even when being held in free air.

    (Or hasn't the patent on that expired yet?)
    • It's probably a lot cheaper to print what they're using now. As in this whole thing will be printed on a large format inkjet, probably on several sheets of paper to accommodate the cavity.... then the cavity will be die-cut out as is standard and constructed using a cheap wood/plastic/alluminum frame. Sounds pretty cool to me.

      It's an innovative use of the new inkjet printing of circuits technique.

      Your idea does hold merit though and we at Hallmark cards will be looking into it aggressively ;-p
      • Your idea does hold merit though and we at Hallmark cards will be looking into it aggressively ;-p

        No skin off my patent portfolio. It's already been done decades back - and I'm not going to bother with trying to claim just combining it with electronic paper.
      • Your idea does hold merit though and we at Hallmark cards will be looking into it aggressively ;-p

        My previous post counts as "prior art". So I just open-sourced it.

        Hallmark is welcome to use it - along with anybody else. B-)
  • by Pym (8890)
    Think of the new realms origami could explore... :D
  • by rubycodez (864176) on Friday June 08, 2007 @02:52AM (#19434427)
    Those attending the demonstration of sound-making-paper technology reported 1. it indeed worked. 2. it sounded like rustling paper.
  • Skin mags should integrate this into the centerfold......so it moans when you touch ....... ENUF SAID !!!
  • by hcdejong (561314) <hobbes AT xmsnet DOT nl> on Friday June 08, 2007 @04:34AM (#19434889)
    ...to silence all the animated, noisy ads this invention will inevitably lead to.
  • Guy: grnngngngnnnhhhgghhgnnnrrrnrn! ahhhhhh!
    Paper: You have traces of blood and 2.5 peanuts in your excrement.

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