Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Flash: Talking Paper

Swedish researchers who have developed ‘talking paper’. So cigarette packs can start shouting health warnings to you and cartons can instruct you how to open them and throw them away. It is just a few years away, if wecan believe a team of researchers at Mid Sweden University, which has created interactive billboards by using conductive inks to print sensors and speakers onto paper. The billboards can play recorded sounds including music and speech in response to a user’s touch. The next step would be to scale down the technology to develop packaging that can talk to consumers. The project is backed by Swedish paper and packaging group SCA.

The main hurdles are integrating a power source and the intelligence into smaller, flexible formats while ensuring good sound quality. It would be possible to create talking packaging for luxury goods now already. It can be done at a price but to make it at a cost level that is acceptable for most producers is five years away.

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