Developers unveil ultra-thin NFC-powered paper piano

Fingers on keyboard of ultra-thin NFC-powered paper piano
ULTRA-THIN: Touching a key on the piano triggers the corresponding key on the app and the musical note

Developers in Austria have produced an ultra-thin paper piano with a miniature NFC chip that connects the device to a companion mobile app, enabling a user to play a tune on it via their smartphone.

The ultra-thin musical instrument consists of two sheets of paper, one printed with a simple keyboard layout and backed with layers of conductive carbon and the other with printed circuitry, together with the NFC chip that draws power for the device from the connected smartphone.

Touching any of the keys on the paper keyboard triggers a corresponding key on the smartphone app and generates the relevant musical note.

The paper piano has been developed by Austrian printed electronics specialist Prelonic to demonstrate how “this technology creates a large number of applications for games, marketing material, training and information”.

“PIP [Prelonic interactive paper] enables interaction of paper and mobile devices,” the company explains. “Printed content on the paper is equipped with push buttons connecting to the mobile devices.

“Advanced NFC technology offers a high degree of freedom for design and functionality.”

A short video shows how the paper piano is made and works.

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