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Printed Electronics Sensors Ready for New Revolutions

19/05/2014

 

 

New revolutions are under way for the industry and for the consumer market thanks to the latest developments of the Internet, Cloud Computing and the wireless connections technologies such as Bluetooth and WLAN. Printed electronics is an emerging technology already engaged in these revolutions.

Sensors for Industry 4.0:

The industry 4.0 is a global initiative from the industry to develop new services bringing high value to their customers for real-time information, improving quality of customer service or product manufacturing, efficiency of operations / supply chain or security. Sensors are a key technology for these new developments making the link between the physical world (typically equipments)and the web based services, providing information on analog parameters converted into digital information. Optical sensors are finding place easily thanks their capability to observe objects, pieces, particles without contact and intrusion. Printed electronics is an innovative technology for these optical sensors, solving issues of mechanical integration thanks usage of plastic replacing traditional rigid printed circuit boards. Think about adhesive pieces of plastic capable of vision that can be sticked almost everywhere without retrofitting of the equipment. No need any more to stop the industrial process for visual inspection.

ISORG has developed unique offer of optical sensors in organic electronics with photodetectors (used in strips) and image sensors (with functional prototypes of 10 000 pixels). These sensors have found applications in various industries:

Pharmacy, water and food industry: optical sensors are used for Process Analytical Control, to monitor particles in suspension and formulation during the manufacturing process (spatial spectroscopy). New regulations in the USA and soon in Europe will require real time process control for pharmacy.

 

Optical sensors in plastic have the unique capability to be sticked to windows of equipment without long and expensive equipment retrofitting. Moreover, printed electronics give possibility of specific sensor design for accurate measurement.

Logistics and e-commerce: optical sensors are used for object detection on surfaces, replacing RFID tags or bar codes. Easily integrated in shelves, these sensors are able to deliver automatically daily information on inventory stocks.

Electrical distribution: optical sensors are used for monitoring of electrical distribution equipment to provide real time information for maintenance and improved security.

Sensors for connected objects:

Connected objects are the next big wave for consumer markets after smart phone and tablets revolution. They transform everyday products (home appliances, toys, watches, lighting...) into smart objects able to communicate with smart phones and Internet boxes, bringing new usages to consumer.

Here again, sensors are a key technology for these new developments making the link between the physical world (typically the user) and the web based services. Optical sensors in organic electronics are bringing innovation for user interaction and man machine interface, replacing traditional buttons by interactive surfaces for an appealing product design. Almost invisible technology to the user.

ISORG has developed unique expertise for these new user interfaces: optical sensors can be placed behind plastic and glass for finger proximity detection and gesture recognition. They can offer both touch and touchless interaction in an intuitive and seamless way for the user. Optical solution is giving benefit of robust operation with greasy surfaces, wet fingers or gloves, for specific applications like home appliances and sports equipments. ISORG has explored with product designers new ways to interact with everyday objects such as toys, with concepts of interactive gaming surfaces able to detect physical objects and hands, or consumer electronics, with concepts of interactive audio headsets (volume control and music track selection by proximity and gesture recognition).

 

Laurent Jamet

ISORG

www.isorg.fr

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