Paper + digital is a dominant tech trend. It started with Google cardboard back in 2014 and now Google is advancing the idea again. This time with build-it-yourself paper objects that you control with your voice.

The simple idea of Paper Signals is to demonstrate how everyday objects can be controlled with your voice – with the goal of using a simple idea to inspire new innovation.

The project combines this simple idea with existing Google machine learning tools, such as “actions on Google” and “dialogflow”. It is a great idea to get people actively engaging with the tools available on the platform.

Paper Signals

To initiate the project, Google has created a number of paper signals to demonstrate how the idea works. These can be used to signify the weather in Seattle or when a rocket launches, for example.

Google is inviting everyone to use them for whatever they want.

To help you do this, Google has created a number of templates that can be print and then constructed using basic, standard components to animate them.

The standard paper signal templates provided by Google include: an umbrella, a rocket, an arrow, a pair of trousers and a wheel.
If you want to animate them, you’ll need a smartphone or device with Google assistant, a Micro Servo, an AdaFruit Feather Huzzah with headers as well as jumper wires and a micro USB.

Be Creative with paper

As well thinking creatively about how these signals could be used to communicate simple information, anyone interested in getting involved in the Google paper signal project can design their own paper signal template.

Google is making the open-source code available on GitHub, so everyone is invited to think creatively and create their own paper signal.

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