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Motion-activated gadget turns flag into a speaker

May 17, 2017, 7:06 AM EDT

Researchers at Michigan State University have engineered a paper-thin device that draws power from human motion and can turn a flag into a loudspeaker, a development that opens up possibilities for new media options such as voice-activated newspapers that talk back to you.

The device is essentially an ultrathin, flexible, scalable and bidirectional transducer, which converts mechanical energy to electrical energy and vice versa, an attribute that’s found in no other gadget, writes MSU Today.

The device could soon replace traditional big and bulky loudspeakers with lightweight, noise-cancelling and energy-efficient sheets, notes New Atlas.