Developments in printed conductors and tags
Speaking at the recent IDTechEx Printed Electronics conference, Cypak, Sweden, are using printed conductors for medication compliance blister packs, electronic questionnaires, keypads and RFID tag antennas using capacitive coupling at 1MHz. The RF interface works at a range of a few cms but the readers are extremely cheap (approaching $1) and the antennas can be relatively resistive, such as graphite flakes rather than the more expensive silver based inks. MeadWestVaco have licensed the technology for measuring drug compliance. Other uses include tamper detection boxes as used by Deutsche Poste and the Swedish Post Office.
Panipol, a supplier of conductive and semi-conductive materials are working with VTT, HUT and M-Real and have developed a new memory tag. Presented by M-real, a $7.2Bn paper and paperboard company, the Hidden Electronic Product Code "HidE" tag does not contain a silicon chip but is compliant with EPC tag data standards and production costs are "a fraction of a cent". The way the device works is sill confidential. Currently it is limited to a few cms range. M-Real announced that they are scaling up production and it will be ready for customer case studies in 2006.