NFC has made our lives much easier, significantly improving access cards, double authorization systems when logging in, data exchange between phones, and most of all contactless payments. The potential of NFC is huge, and when we combine it with printed electronics, the profits of a work like Papier Piano.
NFC and printed electronics have great potential. Piano paper shows it
The project Papier Piano, which is simply a “piano on a sheet of paper”, is the responsibility of the Austrian technology company Prelonic. It was founded in 2007 to develop and manufacture flexible printed electronic modules, including displays, batteries and sensors. It has already provided many works to the market, with its first product, Prelonic Interactive Paper (PIP), combining printed circuit boards and NFC, giving users a new way to interact with mobile devices.
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Paper Piano is therefore nothing more than a demonstration of this technology, which is designed to show what lies hidden in the connection of NFC and a smartphone. The company approached this project in a quite expected manner. She started by printing some of the piano’s keys on a piece of paper using a standard printer. She then printed conductive carbon on the back of the sheet, and a simple circuit layout on a separate sheet, which she completed with a tiny NFC chip. This one was attached to the underside of the keyboard template, and this one in turn was placed on the perimeter layer to form the interface.
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The rest of the work was done by the smartphone application, which was just placed on the left side of the page so that it could connect to the NFC. Thanks to this technology, it Paper Piano it does not require a separate power source, and it works so that when the user touches any of the eight white keys printed on a piece of paper with his fingertips, their digital counterparts illuminate on the smartphone screen, and its speakers generate sound. Nothing fancy, but Papier Piano is a perfect show of technology.