UK researchers, businesses and musicians to lead at SXSW!
“It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough, that it’s Technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities that yields us the results that make our hearts sing, and nowhere is that more true than in these post PC devices.” Steve Jobs, March 2011
The UK is at the start of a potential internet revolution that could create a muti-billion pound industry in the next 5-10 years. This revolution could create a revenue stream for the UK economy that will be directly benefit, technology companies, design companies, research institutions and the creative industries. The scope and potential for what could be achieved is simply incredible. Consider the following three facts.
• The UK is leading in the technology of prointed electronics. The market is predicted to be $120bn by 2020 (BIS Report 2009).
• The difficulty for the printed electronics is that the investment in technology push is at times widening the gap between what the technology can do and what the market needs (NewElectronics, 2011)
• Design and creativity led innovation provides a significant competitive advantage to companies. “Companies that invest in their design capability and develop a reputation for innovation can avoid competing on price alone”. (Design Council, 2008)
Following two significant EPSRC funded research grants relating to socially responsive design led innovation that harnesses and promotes the potential for UK produced and owned printed electronics, we are actively prototyping and testing radically new forms of interaction between people and the internet. Interactions that have not been seen before. And interactions in culturally sensitive creative markets that are under serious economical pressure due in good part to the distribution of media via the internet – these areas are music and news.
As part of our funded research we have been given an incredible opportunity to showcase at the world’s leading technology festivital South By South West – an annual conference showcasing the very latest cutting edge innovations and ideas in digital film, music and interactive media. As one participant described it in 2010 “Think of South by Southwest (SXSW) as a nine-day marketplace of ideas, relationships, and products for the Music, Interactive Media, and Film industries”.
So what’s out big idea and who’s involved.
We are hosting one of the highly prestigious and competitive panel discussions at the 2012 Interactive Festival – with the question posed of “Can Printed Electronics Save The Music Industry?”.
To discuss this we are hosting a panel of outstanding talent from music – the mercury prize nominated King Creosote and the award winning band Found; from technology – the world’s leading innovators in delivering printed electronics solutions Novalia; the award winning design consultancy, Uniform; and hosted by a leading UK academic Dr Jon Rogers.
We’re going to debate and show prototypes of how printed electronics could save digital music in the context of connecting communities to record labels and artists. Printed Electronics is an emerging technology with the potential to change how we interact. We can now reliably print basic electronic components onto paper and card; and when connected to conventional electronics, has the potential to re-connect digital to physical for album covers, fanzines, merchandise, and getting new music heard. We will bring physical prototypes as props in a discussion of what this technology could do and collaborate with the audience to test reaction and potential through hands in thinking. Raising questions of what does digital mean to independent hyper-local record labels that want to connect with their community and how bespoke digital printed electronics on paper could achieve this and alter the future of digital music and how artists can connect to people.
How can radical new developments in printed electronics technology be harnessed for the music industry? Specifically we want to address the following questions using prototypes and demonstrators to show the audience what we can do with this exciting UK technology:
1. Does digital music need to have a physical format?
2. What is the future of physical products in the music industry?
3. How can hyper-local record labels connect to their communities?
4. How can the music industry respond to printed electronics technology?