LONDON – PragmatIC Printing Ltd, a pioneer of printed electronics, has worked with Innovia Films Ltd., a manufacturer of specialist films, to create prototypes of interactive bottle labels.
Innovia produces Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP) label substrates with the inclusion of printed electronics and LED die the two companies have made interactive bottle labels that activate a sequence of flashing lights when the bottle is held.
"Our collaboration with Innovia Films has demonstrated that our unique imprinted electronics can be integrated successfully onto label and packaging films. We now aim to progress these concepts together towards volume production and commercial deployment," said Scott White, CEO of PragmatIC Printing (Cambridge, England), in a statement.
Innovia Films exhibited the prototype electronic labels on their stand at the Packaging Innovations show held at the Business Design Centre in London.
"This exciting development is only a small part of a larger project getting printable electronics into volume packaging markets," said Steve Langstaff, OPP product manager at Innovia Films (Wigton, England), in the same statement.
PragmatIC also announced that it has completed prototypes of a range of printed electronic security products working with De La Rue plc, a world-leading commercial security printer and papermaker.
The prototypes feature the premise that a visual feature, a light sequence or logo is triggered by consumer interaction. In this example no battery is required with power harvested wirelessly from a standard RFID or NFC reader.
Oops, almost forgot. When to turn it on (you don't want them all blinking their lives away in the cooler): sense when the bottle temp is less than the ambient temp by a predetermined amount. This will work even in Blighty where, as you know, we like our beer a tad warmer* than in The Colonies.
(*"Why do we drink our beer warm?" you ask? Easy: Lucas makes refrigerators, too.)
Psst: Mr. White? I don't mean to rain on your parade, but printed films + LED *dice* ain't exactly news - not even when applied to beer-bottle labels.
Look mate, forget LED dice and bonding wires and all that. Rather, print the whole bloody thing as a pattern of OLEDs, along with a printed battery to run the show.
Next, think about making the label able to sense when the bottle is near empty (by sensing the bottle temperature, for example) so that it can alert the barkeep on the patron's behalf. How? Strobe those pretty OLEDs in a predetermined pattern that says, "Another round, please."
Now *that* would just ooze awesomeness, don't you think?