Flexible Printed Electronics: The Future of Electronics

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Electronics is entering a new phase driven by the rapid rise of IoT, wearable technology, smart electronics, and the shift towards miniaturization of products that canno be served by traditional electronics. A key enable for this transition is flexible and co formal electronics

Flexible Printed Electronics Is a technology that alms to combine the best of printing and conventional electronics, allowing the building of flexible, soft, and even stretchable electronic products. Flexible printed electronics allow the development of flexible components such as Flexible Piezoresistive sensors and ultra-thin & flexible Electroluminescent (EL)/LED displays, which remove form factor constraints and give designers creative freedom.

According to Sam Musale, Managing Director, Classic Stripes, “For brands and designers to keep innovating and developing next-generation products, they need integrable products that will enable them to develop products that are thin, flexible & exciting to interact with!”

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Classic Stripes (a part of Astarc Group), headquartered in Mumbai, is working with companies to provide integrated surface augmentation solutions with thin & flexible sensing, illumination, and touch interface features.

Classic Stripes is one of the largest manufacturers of decorative products in the world. Leveraging its advanced screen printing expertise developed over 3 decades, Classic Stripes has developed multiple Flexible Printed Electronics products. The company is fully equipped to provide end-to-€nd solutions from design, development, prototyping, testing, to mass production of various products.

The properties of flexible electronics technology such as low weight, mechanical flexibility & durability, simple device integration, along with affordability, make them suitable for a range of applications in various industries, including consumer appliances & durables, modular switches, automobile, consumer electronics, gaming devices, medical devices, wearables & loT, etc.

AUTOMOBILE

Designers are already thinking outside the box, by reinventing the car interior with the help of smart surfaces. Inside the automobile, integrated sensing and illumination technology has been utilized to enhance functionality and aesthetics as well as occupant safety and comfort. Pressure sensors in passenger seats can detect the weight of a child and turn oPthe airbag, protecting them from serious injury. A capacitive sensing system can be discreetly integrated into the steering wheel to help monitor whether the driver’s hand is factually on the steering wheel. It allows for very precise monitoring of the hands-on/off status in the transition between the manual and automated driving modes.

GAMING DEVICES

The latest generations of controllers have included gadgetry like IR sensors, built-in voice commands, haptic feedback, variable pressure sensors, capacitive touch-screens for fingertip controls, and gyroscopic sensors & accelerometers to detect motion that help gamers to fully immene themselves in the experience.

MEDICAL DEVICES

Unique properties of the Force Sensors (FSR) such as the requirement of small surface area for activation, low cost, flexibility, and high tolerance to temperature, chemicals, and moisture make it an ideal sensor material for biomedical applications, wherein force measurement is required. Some of the applications include robotics surgery, drug delivery devices, the solution to curb bedsores(bed sensors), etc.

WEARABLES & IOT

Today’s flexible sensors can monitor a variety of biomarkers and physiological parameters such as temperature, heart rate, glucose, lactate, electrolytes, calcium, heavy metal ions, pulse oximetry (blood oxygen saturation), and the electrical activity in the heart (electrocardiography) &the brain (electroencephalography).

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