Postcard Player by Uniform

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The interactive Postcard Player by Uniform is designed to ask questions about how we access music. The postcard prototypes are printed using conductive inks, which act like switches when put into the player, telling the tracks to play.

We spoke to Pete Thomas, Futures Director and co-founder of Uniform, at the Design Museum last week when we went to see the Designs of the Year 2013 Exhibition. The Postcard Player is nominated for Design of the Year in the Digital category (see a full list of nominees here).

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Thomas told us that rather than listening to music on an iPod, this turns the record sleeve – the favourite element of any true music collector – into the music itself. It also gives the user a physical link to their music, which is becoming lost with the increasing use of digital downloads.

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Each card (there are three on display at the Design Museum) features a track with buttons to pause or remix the music when it’s placed into the player. This tactile paper element creates a new interaction with music and the screen-printed conductive inks create a bold graphic.

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The Postcard Player is still a prototype and Uniform had to develop more robust elements to withstand the constant use it will get at the Design Museum, but Thomas told me that in future it might be able to store and play music from just the postcard.

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We were lucky enough to be allowed to take one of the postcards home, now we only wish we had something to play it on.

The Designs of the Year 2013 exhibition opens 20th March and runs until 7th July 2013 at the Design Museum, Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD, 10.00-17.45 daily, T: 0870 833 9955, www.designmuseum.org

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