The device consists of a logic circuit implemented with thin film metal oxide transistors, powered by a printed battery, and integrated onto a paper substrate. It has four timing sequences.
It was proposed by exhibition firm IDTechEx, and will be on show at its Printed Electronics Europe event (Berlin 1-2 April). IDTechEx pulled together a team included consumer goods company Procter & Gamble, printed logic company PragmatIC, printed battery supplier Blue Spark Technologies, conductive ink and photonic curing equipment supplier NovaCentrix, and California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), which designed and printed on the paper substrate.
“We set out to create an integrated, fully functional device that has strong value and need. Involving end user P&G provided valuable insight into consumer requirements, which resulted in specifying and delivering the world’s first flexible multi-use timer based on commercially available printed electronics," said IDTechEx CEO Raghu Das. "A timer is one of the basic building blocks that will enable many different products in a modular approach. To reflect that, timers were created for different applications to demonstrate the wide applicability of the device.”
"Follow-on manufacturing is already planned for later this year, including enhancements to the functionality and even greater integration of the printed electronics," said PragmatIC.
The timer is aimed at four different activities: working out, cooking, meetings, children's activities. Each has four individually controlled timing options, activated by bending or dog-earing one of the corners of the paper substrate.
Blue Spark, NovaCentrix and PragmatIC will be speaking at the show or conference.
"The conference and tradeshow brings together end users with suppliers - where pull and push balance - to provide attendees with that critical insight into the driving needs for the technology, in addition to appraisal of all the key enabling materials, components and manufacturing processes," said IDTechEx. "End users exploring printed electronics, such as Hasbro, Diageo, Electrolux, Boeing, De La Rue, Abbott Diagnostics, Decathlon and Stora Enso, will present their needs and programs."
PragmatIC Printing operates a pilot line at the UK’s National Centre for Printable Electronics in Sedgefield, part of the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI). It also licenses its technology for higher volume production.