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a golf club to measure a player’s swing. The disposable patch uses a printed circuit and battery that can last for the duration of a game, reporting stats to a smartphone app. Researchers were able to extract useful data from the sensors with the one-time use product that avoids subjecting chips routinely to the 1500G forces generated by a golf swing, something chips embedded in a club could not withstand, he said. Qualcomm won’t market the prototype. Instead it used it as a test case to get information on cost targets, sensor accuracy and manufacturing issues with current state-of-the-art processes. Lundby sees promise in using surface electronics to add value to everyday objects in ways that don’t necessarily put the device directly on the Internet. Among other surface electronics at the event, Nth-Degree demoed its approach to embedding LEDs on plastic. It is selling a dev kit for its first product, an LED strip that costs $5/foot. The company makes its own conductive ink and has a proprietary gallium nitride LED technology for creating chips it can mount on a 5 mil PET substrate, currently in sheets up to 12x12 inches. It eventually aims to sell ultrathin backlights for computer and TV displays. The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland demoed a capability of lighting eight LEDs using power from a smartphone sent over near-filed communications to a printed circuit. VTT’s part in the demo was a technique for mounting tiny unpackaged LEDs on a printed circuit from a third party. VTT showed its own LED-onplastic capabilities, something the research institute has now spun out into a commercial startup. Flexbright of Finland is currently testing its prototypes with a handful of potential customers. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe December 2015 21


EETE DEC 2015
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