Five Hot Trends with Printed and Flexible Electronics
Mar 21, 2018 Raghu Das
Europe's leading event on printed and flexible electronics, Printed Electronics Europe 2018, opens its doors in less than three weeks to over 2,500 global visitors. The event, held on 11-12 April at the Estrel Convention centre in Berlin and hosted by IDTechEx, covers the entire value chain of printed and flexible electronics from material supply to end user case studies and their unmet needs.
Of the many highlights of the event, five hot trends in particular will be covered through the conference and the diverse range of exhibiting organizations, with speakers selected by IDTechEx analysts to highlight the opportunities:
1. New Electronics Design Freedom: Brands to increase market share through differentiation
Thanks to new form factors such as flexible and stretchable electronics, products from consumer electronic devices to vehicles can be differentiated allowing brands and disruptive entrants to grow their market share.
Speakers at Printed Electronics Europe range from those involved in product design through to the full range of flexible and stretchable displays, sensors and circuity including the enabling materials and manufacturing equipment.
For example, Geely Design will cover the design and technology considerations of their new car brand - Lynk & Co - which was designed from scratch, while Plastic Omnium, a leading automotive part maker, will present on the opportunity for printed electronics in car body parts, with other brands such as Beko and Nokia addressing opportunities for printed electronics in their industries. Technology sessions covering flexible displays and sensors feature speakers including Panasonic, Visionox, Huawei, Seoul National University and more.
2. Healthcare and Medical Wearables: A billion dollar market that needs printed electronics
Wearable devices for healthcare and medical uses need conformal, flexible and stretchable electronics. For example, conformal skin patches are already a billion dollar business where they are used to monitor heart activity and printed and flexible electronics has enabled new products that are being launched such as OLED eye masks which are set to displace a $10 billion market for medicines whereby the electronic eye mask is a treatment.
This huge opportunity will be covered by a diverse range of speakers from the medical and healthcare community including those from Johnson & Johnson, GSK, GE Healthcare, Galvani Bioelectronics and others.
Image Source: Pregnancy belt from the Holst Centre (presenting at the event), comprising of an array of closely spaced active electrodes, to measure the strength and also the direction of the contractions to allow for accurate prediction of start of delivery.
3. Energy Autonomy: Everyone's goal
IDTechEx are at the forefront of assessing new energy harvesting systems which ultimately enable full off grid energy independence. In addition to low power systems for small, wireless devices, the increasing thrust is on energy independent street furniture (bus shelters, signs) to vehicles to buildings.
Learn the latest developments in high power photovoltaics and thermoelectrics from organizations such as NREL, NASA, Sonnenrepublik and many others and see hear how end users such as JC Decaux are incorporating these technologies (such as OPV) to power infrastructure including lighting and low power reflective displays in bus shelters.
4. Hybrid Electronics: The best technology for the application
Printed and flexible components are increasingly being incorporated with conventional "old school" rigid components, using the best of both worlds. However, there are many challenges with the integration of these components, from automating the attachment and integration of very diverse components to systems design and testing. Then there is the added challenge of integrating these with 3D surfaces.
The progress and solutions to many of these issues will be aired in sessions focused on hybrid electronics manufacturing, structural electronics and 3D printed electronics with speakers including Xerox Parc, Multek, Holst Center, Muehlbauer, Neotech and many more.
Image Source: Structural Electronics part from TactoTek (presenting at the event)
5. Smart Packaging and Printed Electronics Systems: Products come to market
Experimental materials have matured to product-ready materials. Some component suppliers have morphed into solution providers, filling the systems integration void to create new markets leveraging the capability of the technology. Now, more than ever before, a diverse range of products based on printed electronics are commercially available or being commercially available. These are focussed on real business opportunities with the hype long being over.
Printed Electronics Europe features the latest progress with commercial products impacting IoT and smart packaging, from hybrid RFID sensing labels to RFID labels with no silicon IC. Hear from organizations including PragmatIC, IMEC, Interlink Electronics, Ynvisible, TenFlecs, BlueSpark and many more.
These, however, are just some of the highlights from Printed Electronics Europe, with the full speaker list and agenda now live. See the prominent list of exhibitors who will be showcasing many solutions and new products.
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