#MTFScandi Picks – Novalia

On June 11, 2015

Fancy adding a drum machine to your work chair? How about building a toy that sings your kid’s favourite lullabies? Or even a life size cutout of your self that shouts at anyone who touches it?! Well, now you can…

Novalia Creator Kit

We all know technology is finding its way into almost everything around us. Clothes, Kettles, Chairs, Fridges; they are all getting a tech makeover. Companies are looking for new and interesting ways to combine tech with our everyday interactions. Novalia are one of the companies providing us with new ways to create our own interactive elements.

Based out of Cambridge and founded by Dr Kate Stone, the company strives to integrate touch interaction to everyday objects based around their conductive printing and easily programmable control module. So far they have worked on projects with car companies like Audi and Chrysler through to music acts like Cornelia and DJ Qbert.

Their current project and Kickstarter campaign is the Creator Kit: a set of conductive stickers which you can design and print on, allowing you to add conductive touch elements to pretty much anything you like.

The product is fantastic in its simplicity. You can easily set each touchpoint to play a different sound by dropping your sound files into our simple software and setting how sensitive you would like it to be. You can then stick your own artwork over the top and create something beautiful. Alternatively you can experiment with sticking it to different surfaces and unusual objects to see what you can create.

When I look at products like this, I instantly think about the benefits to education, teaching kids and beginners how to build tech projects without feeling too daunted by coding, soldering, wiring etc. This is a platform that allows you to easily put tech in the hands of some of the best and most imaginative thinkers – kids!! But it’s certainly not limited to the little ones. Marketing and merchandisers should be looking closely at these types of products, especially as the barrier to entry keeps dropping and implementation becomes much easier.

One of my other favourite projects from Novalia is the MIDI Notepad. Part of their Printed MIDI project, it’s a combination of printed capacitive touch, MIDI processing and Bluetooth Smart. Printed MIDI can potentially turn any surface into a MIDI controller, whether the surface is flat or curved.

Kate has been a regular at Music Tech Fest and is an example of some of the creative and innovative characters we have at the festival. Her passion in her products is reflected in some of the amazing projects that the Novalia team have created. Please take a look and share Novalia’s Kickstarter campaign.

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