The phenomenal and cultural success of Apple and Steve Jobs' vision was the result of technology and artistry coming together to change the way we interact with our world.
IDTechEx has long advocated the need for more companies to not only continue to develop breakthrough PE technology but to design and integrate printed electronics into the soul of the product rather than just supplying materials or components.
There is a large array of fantastic new materials and components becoming available but the true exploitation and commercialization of those material innovations will come from the marriage of vision and technology. There needs to be an sustainable and orchestrated effort on not just creating technology but creating products and applications from these advancements in order for suppliers to generate income and make money.
IDTechEx has reported how some companies have moved from being a material supplier to stepping into both the consumer and industrial marketplace as a true product supplier. One of the hardest issues for emerging printed electronics companies to grapple with is choosing exactly what product to make. This is the arena where the developers and engineers need to engage with artists and creative designers coming together on a common palette to paint the vision of tomorrow.
For example the artist Richard Kirk was a pioneer in leading the inorganic EL technology to success in media and apparel. Another example and by far one of the most creative companies working and creating in printed electronics today who have sold millions of dollars of PE products, is T-Ink, a New York based company with R&D facilities in Pittsburgh and Detroit.
Part of the unique vision and capabilities of T-Ink to deliver on those visions are their creative officers, John and Anthony Gentile. With years of experience in the consumer and entertainment industries, the two brothers and founders of T-Ink have created, designed and produced TV series and advertising campaigns for major motion pictures, television and Broadway shows in addition to creating and selling a tremendous amount of products in the retail marketplace from video games, to consumer electronics, to toys, to apparel and much more. Their design skills and capabilities to draw from their expertise in these other industries have been applied to their work in printed electronics.
As a result T-Ink have since sold more than 100 million interactive Happy Meal tray liners for McDonalds; 600,000 Color 'n Drive cars which are remotely controlled by touching an interactive T-Ink printed coloring book; 400,000 interactive posters involved T-Ink's patented printed electronics; over one million musical infant sippy cups and it's own brand of smart heated clothing all utilizing T-Ink's unique formulations and applications. For additional information about T-Ink's products and clients see www.t-ink.com .
IDTechEx recently met with T-Ink at their offices and the heart of their "t-ink" tank in New York. With T-INK's senior management bringing decades of their innovation and technology experience combined with both their marketing and a consumer application expertise the company brings a range of innovative PE products and advances to the commercial marketplace.
Beyond brand enhancements, toys and packaging, where T-Ink is producing some exciting new product designs for established brands and companies, T-Ink is focusing on expanding its business model and vision to exploit additional market and industry verticals that will be commercial as soon as 2012.
The first to be introduced is the company's prioritory InMold process that dramatically reduces weight and ease of installation but increasing and augmenting design and functionality. Replacing conventional mechanical switches that are heavy and prone to mechanical failure T-Ink's InMold technology incorporates solid state, printed capacitive and projective capacitive traces and switches to create a stunning new interface both in design and performance.
Wiring too becomes obsolete and is replaced with printed conductors which are thermo-formed and molded into a 3D panel with T-Ink's conductive inks retaining their integrity and performance during the forming process. T-ink expects this to appear in commercial vehicles beginning in fall 2012.
T-Ink will be showing this and many of their products at the IDTechEx Printed Electronics USA event in Santa Clara, CA, USA on Nov 30- Dec 1 www.IDTechEx.com/peUSA.
Already on the advanced technical horizon are other printed electronic elements including light and sound conversions. T-Ink is seeking to work with companies that have applicable materials and components that can compliment and be incorporated into their products. The company is currently developing an extensive array of components and products for the building industry incorporating traditional light switches into molded panels that can be integrated into directly into wallpaper and/or a wall tile which control the lighting within a room.
For those that doubt there are viable opportunities today for printed electronics in both the industrial and consumer marketplace and the huge opportunity in utilizing and exploiting printed electronics to create new and vigorous commercial markets, look no further than T-Ink, showing and proving how it should be done. Creating, conducting, connecting with the world of tomorrow today.
For more attend: Printed Electronics USA 2011.