Creative Design of Printed Electronics Products is Badly Needed
A common theme in the IDTechEx conference Printed Electronics in Dresden this week was the shortage of creative product design. Those trying to replace displays on television sets and mobile phones are finding it a very expensive and unforgiving exercise as LCDs and other old technologies continue to improve. Ironically, it is being made tougher for new technologies such as OLEDs because the older technologies are being value engineered by introducing a measure of printing with electronic inks - the basis of the new electronics - with some now incorporated in the processes of both Plasma Display Panels PDP and LCD displays. For example, SSCP of Korea has recently substituted six stages of PDP manufacture with one flexographic print stage.
Most agreed that the challenge is to create totally new products that read to the strengths of printed electronics. There were statements such as “A printed battery is not a product”. It was therefore not surprising that the presentations by artist Richard Kirk of CPI on “How to Make Money from Printed Electronics” and by designer Matthew Falla of Osmotronic on “From Multi-media to Merged-Media: Transforming Print in the Digital Age” were very well attended and well rated.
Richard drew on his experience running elumin8 where many artists have been commissioned to create imaginative new concepts such as the award winning growth pattern that creeps across a wall - the artist being shown alongside in the image above.
Then there is the prayer mat which lights up when correctly aligned with Mecca and huge logos conforming to the sides of buildings because they are made of light emitting ink, screen printed on printed plastic film. Many other examples of elumin8 innovations were working in the exhibition hall and the lecture theatre.
Richard described the new Cenamps PeTec centre in North England, a $28 million investment, to be on line in September 2008, developing pilot line processes for: