I was looking through the “memory box” yesterday and came across my daughters very first birthday card. It was one of those talking ones that when you opened it, Cinderella’s fairy godmother waves her wand and sings happy birthday, alas, the card was dead, no more bibbidi bobbity birthday, if only there was a way to add voice to stuff with no batteries required.

What did I just wish for? Talking tape? Well, here it is, it’s so low tech, it seems almost futuristic as it makes it possible to mechanically create sound almost anywhere you want. This is how it works: Holding the top of the tape with one hand, you slide a thumbnail or a paper clip down the ribbon against the grooves. Do this, and you will hear, “Congratulations!”

The ribbon actually has grooves like a traditional vinyl record so when your fingernail is pulled down the ribbon, it causes sound vibrations and the card that it’s attached to works as an amplifier to make the sound louder. Of course you can replace the card with a plastic cup, a balloon, a greeting card, a photo or just about anything you can stick the ribbon on.

The ribbons can be made to play any sound you can record; however, the manufacturer claims voices work better than music. No word on how to get the ribbon to include your voice or other recording, but a single piece of talking tape that says “Congratulations!” will run you about $13.00 bucks at  www.inventables.com That seems cost prohibitive, but I believe this is an inventors sample, and is offered primarily to help you develop a unique application of your own.

The talking tape is 24 1/2 in long and 1/8 in thick.


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