Business cards are the most basic of means of sharing contact details or promoting what you do with people you meet. Tim Jacobs of Mitxela needed a card that reflected what he did and as a result, he came up with the idea of the StyloCard.
Jacobs originally wanted to cram a working Stylophone tone generator onto a business card a few years ago and the prototype he made at home had 20 tin-plated keys. It also had an ATiny85chip, some resistors, and a USB port. Using a crocodile clip as a stylus, it functioned as a MIDI Stylophone.
He wanted to incorporate a better stylus into the design and while he was thinking about it, he moved to other things and the project came to a temporary stop. It sprang into action again last month as he ordered business card-sized boards to be produced cheaply.
The StyloCard is only one mm thick and the USB connection would be very flimsy when plugged in. To cater for this, an extra USB section was added to the top of the card design. This section is soldered on top of the plug at the corner of the card.
The StyloCard does not have sound generation circuits in itself but the Stylophone keyboard only acts as a MIDI controller for music production software running on the computer to which it is connected. The card is 85 mm in length and has a width of 55 mm. The keyboard measures 78 mm from one side to the other.
A crocodile clip is used as the stylus and does the job its creator meant for it to do. Jacobs said, “When it comes to business cards, the entire point is to show off.” You can learn more details about the StyloCard in the video below: