Conductive Ink Makes Analog Posters Interactive

May 28, 2014 by Dave Haynes

How about a traditional advertising poster going interactive, without adding a screen?

That’s what the brewer Beck’s has had up in cities around New Zealand this month – print posters that have conductive ink and speakers, making them playable as part of a music promotion.

Described as the world’s first Playable Posters, the street-level ads were used by Beck’s to celebrate 10 new Kiwi artists during New Zealand Music Month.

From the NZ portal Voxy:

The Beck’s Playable Posters are made with conductive ink, which picks up electrical signals from fingers when activated parts of the poster are pressed (much like an iPad, except on paper). The conductive ink is linked to a speaker attached to the rear, which reverberates the poster and turns it into an 80 watt speaker.

Pete Dick from Beck’s NZ says: “Globally Beck’s has always been closely assimilated with music, art and fresh thinking and in New Zealand we’re leading the charge when it comes to cutting edge technology. The Playable Posters we’ve developed to promote New Zealand musicians are an exciting new medium for us, and provide a way to showcase some amazing local talent.”


Simon Curran, Managing Director at advertising agency Shine adds: “The traditional street poster has been around for over 200 years and it was time for a rethink. With the Beck’s Playable Posters, anyone can discover fantastic local talent, instantaneously, and in an unexpected setting. This technology is a genuine game changer for street posters and we’re proud to be the first in the world to harness its awesome potential. I expect we’ll start to see this technology used in a variety of applications.”

Beck’s Playable Postersare up in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, Whangarei, Dunedin, Palmerston North and Napier throughout NZ Music Month.

The posters have 20 touch points and store around 12 minutes of new music and audio. The tech comes from the British firm Novalia. These are the guys I wrote about last summer when they demo’d a drum kit poster as part of a crowd-funding campaign.

A lot of potential here, not only as a low-cost alternative to full digital but also as something that complements/works in tandem with digital screens.

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