Pete Thomas from Uniform takes us through the evolution of its Postcard Player, a box connected to a speaker system that plays music from postcards. Conductive ink printed onto the postcards tell the box which songs to play. The Postcard Player can be seen at the Design Museum currently as part of its Designs of the Year exhibition.

We started work on the Postcard Player at the end of 2011. We’d agreed to take part in a panel presentation at SXSW alongside some of the people form the Product Research Studio at the University of Dundee. We were working with them to develop some demonstrators responding to the provocative question “Can printed electronics save the music industry?”.

Just before Christmas that year Mike Shorter, one of the researchers at Dundee, created a prototype that blew us away – an interactive party invite that people could bring along to a gig and then ‘play’ like a Theremin alongside the band.

This thing was just great, but what really excited us was that, rather than try and integrate the electronics onto the paper, Mike separated them completely and unapologetically. We really liked the practical simplicity of Mike’s insight and wondered how we could develop it.

Pete developed the Postcard Player in conjunction with Martin Skelly.

Use the slideshow controls above and right to follow our creative process from concept to what you'll see in the Design Museum.

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