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Electronics & Test
Thinfilm Offers Printed-Electronics Standalone Sensor System
10/30/2013

Oslo, Norway-based Thinfilm is offering what it claims is the first printed-electronics standalone sensor system. The system can provide temperature-management for perishable goods, alerting those in the supply chain if a threshold has been reached. The company plans to extend the technology with wireless capability, as well as extend it with a range of other sensors to enable the Internet of Things.   (Source: Thinfilm)
Oslo, Norway-based Thinfilm is offering what it claims is the first printed-electronics standalone sensor system. The system can provide temperature-management for perishable goods, alerting those in the supply chain if a threshold has been reached. The company plans to extend the technology with wireless capability, as well as extend it with a range of other sensors to enable the Internet of Things.
(Source: Thinfilm)

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Elizabeth M
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Good potential
Elizabeth M   10/30/2013 7:52:27 AM
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This system has a lot of potential uses for the supply chain and its reduced impact on the environment, as well as the ability to manufacture it more cheaply (and thus offer it at a lower price) makes it an attractive system for companies transporting perishable goods. It will be interesting to see what other technologies come from Thinfilm along these same lines.

naperlou
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Not really IoT
naperlou   10/30/2013 11:31:47 AM
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Elizabeth, this is a good type of sensor, but it does not really qualify for the Internet of Things (IoT).  To qualify it would have to communicate.  This is just a tag that will tell a human, whenever it is looked at, that there has been a problem at some time.  This is good information, to be sure.  Now, if you made it an RFID type of tag and had a reader on the container, or whatever shipping system was being used, then it could also be useful.  There is a company in the Chicago area, Zebra Technologies, that prints RFID tags. 

I expect that these two could be combined to provide real time tracking of the temperature.  That is probably coming soon.

tekochip
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Cost Difference
tekochip   10/30/2013 11:49:04 AM
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That is a huge cost difference between the silicon and printed version.  Whenever you see a cost change that large in technology it opens up a wide range of possibilities.


Elizabeth M
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Re: Not really IoT
Elizabeth M   10/31/2013 4:15:36 AM
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Yes, Lou, I see your point. They do plan to include WiFi capability into a future version of the sensor, so I suppose that would make it IoT worthy. I think that's sort of what the company means when it talks about the IoT. The temperature-reading is just the first step in that technology. But you are right in that as it is now, the technology is lacking for this purpose.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Cost Difference
Elizabeth M   10/31/2013 4:36:36 AM
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Yes, that's exactly the company's point, tekochip. By driving down the cost using printed methods and materials, Thinfilm hopes to make this technology more accessible to a broader spectrum of customers.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Cost Difference
Cabe Atwell   5/11/2014 12:17:09 AM
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Printed electronics are incredible and will be everywhere in the next 5 years. I wonder if they will ever incorporate electronic ink that could be erased and reconfigured for different applications.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Cost Difference
Elizabeth M   5/12/2014 3:54:53 AM
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Interesting idea, cabe, now that would be something if the ink could be reused as well. This would go a long way to avoid a lot of industrial waste.

a.saji
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Re: Cost Difference
a.saji   5/12/2014 7:07:19 AM
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Elizabeth: IM not sure how practical it would be (re-usability of ink). If that happens then there will be no demand for cartridges, toners, etc... 

Elizabeth M
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Re: Cost Difference
Elizabeth M   5/13/2014 4:08:06 AM
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Yes, true, so the industry won't necessarily support this move. But technologies have been eliminated and updated over the years and the indstury has evolved and changed to accommodate this. So perhaps one day we won't be buying cartridges and toner and companies that depend on that revenue stream will come up with something else. Think about print film and how we don't use that so much anymore.

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