Move over, collecting stickers off your Coke to try to win Monopoly. Dutch McDonald’s customers can DJ using a combination of their phone and a placemat.
How does it work? Think conductive ink – the basics of electronics and resistive circuits (and, of course, something you can do with paper, too). Add the smartphone, and you get some fairly decent features:
- Trigger loops
- Play effects
- Control tempo
- Record samples
How it works:
With paper printed using conductive ink, the McTrax contains a small battery and thin circuit board with 26 digital touchpoints offering in-house produced audio loops, synths and other musical effects. Your smartphone acts as the speaker and screen and you can also record your own voice. All you need to do is put your phone on the mat, download an app and sync it to the placemat via Bluetooth.
The project is the work of interactive studio This Page Amsterdam, in conjunction with the agency TBWA/Neboko. The latter are responsible for “disruptieve ideeen voor merken als Albert Heijn.” (I’m not sure what disruptive things happen in an Albert Heijn – that’s a Dutch supermarket – but there you go. I’ll be ready the next time tomatoes start singing to me when I enter the produce section.)
This Page Amsterdam have some serious projects, too. They’ve used VR to create empathy for the refugee experience, and worked with neuroscientists to help kids stay away from toxic toys. Here, the client might be a fast food joint, but it’s nice to see they’ve still put some heart in the work as far as inspiring creativity. (And this is the country that can consume bitterballen on a regular basis and live – I’m sure they’ll bike off that Happy Meal, no worries.)
Engadget wonders where the American McDonald’s is on this. Our guess: cheesy-fast food dance music will lag behind in America by several years, until the Yankees catch on to the Dutch star. Not that that’s ever happened before. Cough.