“The Aimulet LA is a batteryless, light-activated handheld audio communication device with an outer shell made from molded bamboo, designed by the Information Technology Research Institute at Japanâ€™s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). The device itself is designed to be held to your ear, like a cell phone. When you stand over special LED emitters in the ground, Aimulet LA receives the light signals via an array of spherical micro solar cells (called Sphelar by manufacturer Kyosemi) set into the bottom of the handset. It translates the signals into audio messages that are transmitted through a tiny speaker in the device.”
I had the chance to to tinker with these during my visit to Chicago thanks to the Inventables office. It’s not that loud, but more like a soft whisper coming from a thin piece of bamboo, though from what I remember, I was beamed over beats from some rock band, which made this bamboo card rather mysterious. I love the idea of powerless speakers, but am not sure how advanced this can get, though I’m sure it’ll become a cheap disposable element in interactive environments down the road.
Rest of the story via Pink Tentacle.