Now what?

A touch-reactive poster

 

 

Intro Print and digital technologies are not as separate as one might think. Especially when combining the two fields, one can arrive at innovative solutions.
This project aims to explore conductive materials in the physical world – because these materials are all around us and we use and touch many of them every day: be it the pots and pans in our kitchens, the spoon we use to stir our coffee, the coins in our wallets, the trees in the woods, the water we drink, and even the air we breathe. What they all have in common: they can transport electricity. By manipulating the flow of electricity you can also transport information. So, why not transport printed information into the physical world by using conductive ink?

 

Design and Concept The poster showcases an abstract black and white design consisting of lines and circles. The circles are the touchpoints, which you can touch in order to interact with the poster. They are connected to a microcontroller and play back audio files. For the audio output, the wikipedia definition of each term is read by text-to-speach synthesis.
The topic of the poster is how technology is driving change. In recent times, an increase of terms with the prefix post- can be observed. Post has the meaning of after something. That means, that the something doesn't exist anymore and is replaced – or not – by something else. Technoloy is facilitating that influx, take for example terms like postinternet or post-truth. This replacement or disappearance of something existing is also what the terms on the poster have in common with printed media: they both are seemingly in the decline.

 

Technology and Fabrication The fabrication process started with mixing the conductive paint. As the paint is self-made, some preliminary testing was inevitable: trying out different conductive ingredients, mixing ratios, testing resistivity and finally adapting the paint for screen printing. Screen printing is a printing technique, where the printing screen is transformed with the help of photochemicals into an ink permeable screen.
An Arduino microcontroller and different sensors and actuators are used for the technical setup. The audio files are retrieved by a SD card reader and played back with a mini loudspeaker. The central component is a capacitive touch sensor, which senses the presence of human touch on the poster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Type interactive poster
Role concept, coding, fabrication
Client university project
Tools arduino, conductive ink, screen printing, capacitive touch sensor
Year 2018