How Yoto cards work, what they are made from and why we chose those materials
1. First things first, what are Yoto cards anyway?
Yoto cards are credit card sized cards that allow you to play audio on a Yoto Player. When you slot the card in the top the audio starts playing. And when you take the card out again, the audio stops.
They contain an NFC chip (similar to security tags on some items you see in stores) that has a special ID number that tells the Yoto Player that a particular piece of audio should be played.
The Yoto Player can then decide whether to download that piece of audio, so it can play it from local memory, or stream it and play using the Wi-Fi connection of Yoto Player (if it's a radio card).
2. OK great, now what are Yoto cards made of? That's why I'm here..
Yoto cards are very similar to the type of credit/bank card that you will be familiar with. Yoto cards are made from ABS and PETG. These are two types of plastic that are very durable and hard wearing.
ABS is a very common type of plastic found in consumer products, and is used for the printed layer.
PETG is what bottle tops are made of, so it is very flexible and durable. This material is used as the protective outer layer that goes over the printed layer.
3. Why these materials?
We know that Yoto cards needs to be hard wearing, so they can be used for a very long time by families. We would love to be able to use something like paper or card, but at the moment, we have not been able to find a material or process that gives us the durability we know we need.
So wherever our materials are for a single use we make every effort to not using plastic (all our packaging for Yoto Player and cards is cardboard except for a thin protective skin that the Player comes in to protect the outer surface, which is currently plastic but will soon be made from a compostable material).
And wherever our materials cannot be anything else but plastic, we design them to have a long life so the utility from every gram of material can be maximised.