While many are using printed and potentially printed electronics to provide incremental improvements to such things as mobile phones and television this is fraught with difficulties. For example the old technologies such as LCD displays are also becoming available in bendable form and with wide viewing angles.
Incremental improvements do not permit the supplier to escape from the very tough price competition in these sectors. By contrast, more savvy developers are now realizing that printed electronics can be a completely new way of doing things and we are only just beginning to understand how revolutionary and wide ranging this is.
For example, there is edible electronics patented by Eastman Kodak and Somark Innovations this year and now consider Electronics Without Circuits. Vubiq, Inksure, Somark, M-Real, VTT Technology, Menippos/ Printed Systems, ACREO and others are printing materials and patterns that store preprogrammed data up to 128 bits or so that can be interrogated at a distance and act as the World's lowest cost form of RFID. Often they print them directly onto packaging or products like 85% of barcodes today. Yet this is so new that these organisations have scarcely begun to explore the full implications and possibilities.
Potential Markets for Printed Electronics