The future of Printed Electronics (in a short tetralogy!) or The Internet of Things (IoT) and how the proliferation of low cost, low profile microelectronics is coming to an item near you….part 2.
The IoT foresees a world where things, and just not people, are in communication and exchanging knowledge on the internet superhighway. Much of this data is about the state or condition of things…”I’m (too) hot”, “I’m (too) cold”, “I’m ripe”, “I’m unwell” and facilitates any or all of the following: Monitoring (the state of the thing), Control (influence over the thing), Optimization (use the real time data to improve the performance of the thing) and/or Autonomy (where the data collected allows the thing to make decisions). The communication can be thing-to-thing, thing-to-people, or people-to-thing! But whatever it is, printed electronics is sure to be a key building block in this new architecture as it provides a route to low cost, disposable sensors which detect and relay the condition of things.
Great examples of this new world of talking things include….
· The ‘smart bottle’ (http://www.thinfilm.no/news/diageo-thinfilm-unveil-connected-smart-bottle/) - developed by ThinFilm on behalf of Diageo. Here the bottle ‘tells’ the consumer whether or not it has been opened. A great anti-tamper device: perhaps other things like foods, medicines and supplements will get smart too?