Thermoboothby taliaYstudio and Jonas Bohatsch

This photo booth detects when subjects kiss, fires a high-tech OLED flash and captures the moment on a low-fi thermal print-out (+ movie).


Visitors to the Thermobooth, by Vienna designers taliaYstudio and Jonas Bohatsch, stand on a "smart carpet" connected to a MaKey MaKey circuit board.

Thermobooth by taliaYstudio

When subjects make skin contact by touching or kissing, an electrical circuit is completed. This triggers the camera and causes an array of circular OLED lights to provide a flash of light. A thermal printer then prints a photo.

Thermobooth by taliaYstudio

OLEDs - organic light-emitting diodes - emit light across a surface rather than from a point, as explained in this movie we made last year.

The Thermobooth will debut at Vienna Design Week in the Austrian capital this week.

Thermobooth by taliaYstudio

"We wanted to create a booth where when two people touched each other a photo would be taken and two copies of the picture would print out in a quick and dirty manner," says Talia Radford of taliaYstudio, who created Thermobooth in collaboration with digital designer Jonas Bohatsch.

Thermobooth by taliaYstudio

"We built the processing unit using a computer and its camera, an Arduino, a MaKey Makey, a flash and a thermal printer."

Thermobooth by taliaYstudio

The first version of Thermobooth was housed in a found Ikea chest of drawers and presented at a party in Vienna earlier this year. "It was really ugly but did the trick and the guests went quite mad about it."


The studio then approached lighting brand OSRAM, who provided circular OLEDs to power the flash. "We really like the light the OLED gives out, even when we lower the resistance so that they give out more light," says Radford. "They don't blind you and they have this beautiful soft illuminating quality about them."

Thermobooth by taliaYstudio

The studio decided to stick with thermal printouts since "thermal printing is quick and dirty in its look and it holds some of the nostalgia of instant analogue photography," Radford explains.

Thermobooth by taliaYstudio

The final version of the project features an irregular cloud of circular, mirror-fronted OLEDs mounted on painted steel poles. A thermal printer is housed in a triangular orange box set atop further steel poles.

Thermobooth by taliaYstudio

Thermobooth will be premiered at Argentinierstrasse 11, Vienna from 27 September to 6 October as part of Vienna Design Week.

Thermobooth by taliaYstudio

Here's some more info from the designers:

Thermobooth puts a new spin on the photo booth experience by combining a more human based interaction with electronics, a high-tech OLED mirror that acts as a flash and display, a camera, conductive plates and thermal printing technology into a photo studio setting.

Thermobooth by taliaYstudio

The Thermobooth features a new shutter release system in which skin contact between two people triggers a set of processes that result in a glorious lo-fi instant thermal-printed picture.


Yes, it takes a picture when you touch each other! We are opening a stage for playfulness and the unexpected.

The idea originated over a coffee between Talia Radford and media artist Jonas Bohatsch whilst planning the studio´s 2-year party. Talia wanted to create a playful environment that continued exploring the studio´s ongoing theme into more emotional interactions with electronics, and Jonas wanted to continue experimenting with thermal printing technology. The thermobooth idea was born and the beta version tried and tested.

The studio cheeckily pitched the idea to Osram, thus introducing an innovation in the use of OLED-mirror technology as a flash. The project will launch during the Vienna Design Week 2013.

The Thermobooth is the first of a group of collaborative projects between taliaYstudio and Osram´s OLED technology.

The project was made possible by departure and the collaboration project “Illuminating Technology" with Osram Opto Semiconductors GmbH.