Be it betrayal or euthanasia, Clinton Card's demise was due to a dearth of innovation, however the intrigues of the trio Barclays, Lloyds and American Greetings remain a mystery. What we do know is that Clinton has failed where many thrive - not least MoonPig®, Card Factory® and American Greetings®.
Choosing to ignore innovation, especially with new and emerging technologies such as printed electronics and printed sensors, will prove to be fatal to all that adopt the ostrich innovation method. While we cannot with certainty say printed electronics would have saved Clinton or, indeed, manroland AG, we can highlight with examples some of the possible ways innovation with this technology would have given a fighting chance. And by the way, current investments in printed electronics already outstrip the market value of all the greeting card manufacturers combined.
Source: CNET / Novalia
Bridging the Digital Divide
The internet is the new whipping boy; blamed for all the problems bedevilling the print industry, remember though, printed electronics is able to breathe life into static print. Transforming, as it were, analogue texts into rich digital multimedia. Printechnologics' Aircode is able to launch rich digital content, simply by pressing the screen of your latest phones and gadgets; this is a fully printable solution and, yes, on a card! There are other methods to launch multimedia content, such as NFC (Near Field Communication) which are printed by companies such as Kovio.
Creating New Functionality
What are your excuses? Ink formulations made with nano-particles confer upon printed papers magical abilities turning them into sensors. Breath sensors printed on card prototypes have been demonstrated by Novalia in Cambridge - so that you can blow out candles. Interlink and Tekscan print force, pressure and touch sensors, Sensitronics also provide such inks. Printed temperature sensing nano-silicon inks are available from PST Sensors. If you're thinking: how do I print this all?
The War for Hearts and Mind
There is nothing that would grab attention better than lighting and moving images on a printed card. So many companies have this functionality, Ynvisible is just one of them.
You can distinguish yourself and your products appealingly by gifting to others new ways to share their innermost thoughts, interacting with static print both on and offline.
I hear you say "So how do I power all of these?" Well, there are new printed, flat, laminar and conformable batteries some of these are rechargeable. By the way, have you seen Fulton Innovation's Harry Potter magazines at the CES 2012? There simply are no excuses!
Image Source: Gizmodo.com
This is a call for introspection; ignorance is no excuse, neither is a lack of funding. IDTechEx is the leading consultancy http://www.idtechex.com/consultancy/ in this innovative field but there are yet still others. CPI in Durham is open to try out new ideas on their machines and help you scale up to production. The UK Tax credits for research, EU FP 7 and the SBIR are viable sources of funds for those who wish to innovate with printed electronics.
While we contemplate in what form your resurrection will be, we shall sound the warning loud and clear to all who suffer from same ailment: Innovate or Die!