How could our world possibly get even more high-tech? With digital experiences on regular cardboard and paper.
A company out of the UK called Novalia is among those helping to integrate uses for conductive ink into our lives. It's ink that's printed on regular paper, using regular printing presses, but it conducts electricity so that with the right setup, a drum poster can be played and a paper switchboard can trigger instruments on an iPad app.
"The idea is that we can make anything that's around us that's printed interactive," says Kate Stone of Novalia.
The next project, due out later this year, is the one that really allows you to see where this is going: a book about an album put together by musician Charlotte Brimner. The thing is the album's not done yet, but hitting the icons in the book will launch experiences on your mobile phone via Bluetooth.
"The album hasn't actually happened yet, but it unfolds during the year," says Stone. "You can interact with the book through your cell phone [and] you start to see the songs being recorded, the songs being created."
Developers say they expect this technology to expand even further so that at some point just about everything in the physical world will have a link to the virtual world.
"I don't want to have to go to my phone to touch stuff. My phone's in my back pocket. If I see a Facebook icon on a wall I want to touch it and I want it to happen," says Stone. "If I see something in a book I want to touch that and it launches the music. That's what the future's going to be. The technology's just going to disappear into everyday things and and they'll just become interactive."
Stone says she believes everyday newspapers and magazines are next up to get the conductive ink treatment.