Enabling novel applications
PragmatIC works with a number of market-leading customers and partners to develop complete electronic solutions in a wide range of novel product form factors: thin, flexible, transparent, robust, disposable.
PragmatIC has worked on a number of projects developing smart packaging product concepts with major players in the consumer goods sector. These include some of the world’s biggest consumer brands in food, beverages, household goods and personal care, as well as their suppliers of primary and secondary packaging.
BRAND PROMOTION: Enable novel electronically activated on-pack branding, such as illuminated bottle labels, animated logos, or dynamically changing colours and artwork.
BRAND SECURITY: Use smartphones or point-of-sale payment infrastructure to activate unique features for consumer verification of product authenticity; also enable electronic anti-tamper or anti-theft solutions.
FUNCTIONAL PACKAGING: Incorporate useful functionality directly into product packaging to enhance the consumer’s experience when using the product, for example timers, decision circuits, or environmental sensors (temperature, light, moisture, etc).
SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT: Wirelessly track goods throughout the entire supply chain, thereby facilitating real-time inventory management, ensuring supply chain integrity, and avoiding out-of-stock lost sales.
CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT: Interact directly with the consumer by allowing the product or packaging to communicate with the buyer’s smartphone, providing targeted information and/or obtaining personal feedback.
PragmatIC’s technology supports a platform approach to facilitate a new wave of electronic security features in a wide range of product formats. Our customers and partners in this area include leading global security printers, label and card converters, and system integrators.
BRAND SECURITY LABELS: Use smartphones or point-of-sale payment infrastructure to activate unique features for consumer verification of product authenticity; also enable electronic anti-tamper or anti-theft solutions.
TRACK AND TRACE: Wirelessly identify individual items via seamlessly embedded RFID or alternative proprietary communication protocols, thereby facilitating revenue collection e.g. for tax stamps or vehicle registrations.
IDENTITY DOCUMENTS: Enable novel anti-counterfeit solutions for ID cards, passports and visa labels by incorporating electronically-activated security features that can be individually personalized e.g. with unique document information.
SMART CARDS: Easily embed electronic intelligence in financial or other cards without requiring expensive inlays or milling of recesses in the card structure, and without any compromise in card durability and flexibility.
BANKNOTES: Potentially embed electronics in a banknote foil or thread, or even within the secure substrate (note that while such features have been demonstrated, further testing is required to validate durability and lifetime under typical usage conditions).
Toys and games
PragmatIC’s flexICs are ideal for providing electronic interactivity in novel forms to engage in natural ways with children and families. PragmatIC collaborates with leading companies across different sectors of the gaming industry to enable them to blend the benefits of electronic game-play with the tangible and tactile world of physical objects.
INTERACTIVE TOYS: Support conformal electronics on curved surfaces and provide robust durability against physical shocks and other rough handling.
BOARD GAMES: Distribute electronics cost-effectively across the game board, allowing interaction with moving game pieces and dynamic updating of playing rules during the game.
PLAYING CARDS: Embed ultra-thin and flexible electronics within each card to support contactless identification (e.g. for game cards), enable interaction with smartphones (e.g. for collectible/trading cards), and enhance security and traceability (e.g. for casinos).
Even in applications where conventional silicon is used to enable highly complex electronic functionality, PragmatIC’s flexICs can often enhance product form factor and optimise the total solution cost. They can consolidate multiple inputs and outputs of a distributed user interface, thereby reducing interconnect complexity and maximising utilisation of limited I/O contacts on silicon ICs. In addition, they can be used to integrate active “glue logic” effectively to facilitate connection between silicon ICs, with particular advantages where these connections are via flex PCBs. PragmatIC has been developing several solutions in this area in collaboration with major electronics manufacturers.
FLEXIBLE DISPLAY DRIVERS: Easily integrate display segment decoding or active matrix row/column drivers into flexible displays, and minimise flex-to-rigid interconnections required to interface with silicon-based display controllers.
INTELLIGENT CONTROL PANELS: Embed active electronics for local control of state information, indicators, membrane switches, etc, and multiplex/demultiplex logic to simplify wiring looms.
LARGE-AREA OR DISTRIBUTED SENSORS: Provide analogue-to-digital conversion as close to the sensors as possible, and aggregate information from many sensors into a standard data communication interface.
PragmatIC’s flexICs are potentially suitable for a wide range of additional applications which we have not yet had sufficient resources to explore fully. These include:
APPLIANCE-TO-ACCESSORY INTERACTION: Allow printers, microwaves, coffee machines, electric toothbrushes, etc to immediately recognise accessories (such as attachments or consumables) and automatically detect relevant configuration settings or track usage information.
PHARMACEUTICAL PACKAGING: Maximise product efficacy by continuously monitoring supply chain and storage environment, and promote patient compliance by providing reminders and timed traceability of product use.
WEARABLE ELECTRONICS: Easily embed sensing, display and communication electronics in thin, flexible body-friendly products such as smart plasters/bandages, wristbands, clothing, etc.
MILITARY, AEROSPACE & AUTOMOTIVE: Provide electronic intelligence in non-invasive (ultra-thin, flexible, transparent, lightweight) form factors with resilience to extreme usage environments (vibration, shock, pressure, etc).