Electronic circuits packs ‘em in

AUTHOR: Inavate

A Cambridge company has perfected the printing of electronic circuitry onto packaging, using conventional printing techniques. The technique, patented by a Novalia, can be used to add a new dimension to conventional packaging, such as turning a cornflakes packet into an interactive game at the breakfast table.

The technique can also be applied to pharmaceuticals, toys and games or for security and safety checks. The creator, Cambridge professor Dr Nick Stone says the circuitry can be printed on to any surface on to which litho print can normally be used. By coating organic semiconductors on to flexible substrates to create transistors and other electronic devices, simple electronic circuitry can be printed over large areas on conventional, inexpensive, thin and flexible substrates by using the same printing techniques and equipment that is already in use.

Novalia is currently working with a printing company to manufacture a printed electronic-based trading card game using printed silver tracks on the card. Each circuit contains a logic functionality allowing the cards to ‘compete’ with each other. The hope is that is display effects, such as electrochromics can be used, simple animations can be added. (Contact Dr Stone: telephone 07811 893 351)