The first LOPEC web seminar took place on July 16, 2020. On the topic of Printed Electronics: With integrated sensors to a new way of 'Smart Living', experts presented new solutions and applications in a web seminar. In the following you will find a summary of the presentations.
Fitness trackers, smart pharmaceutical packaging, adhesive solar films or steplessly dimmable windows: These are just a few application examples for the LOPEC focus topic Smart Living. In his opening presentation to the web seminar, Wolfgang Mildner, General Chair of the LOPEC Conference Board, addressed this versatility:
Smart Living is a broad field in which printed electronics keep making our everyday life easier with various applications.
Robert Frueh (Brewer Science) spoke about the various possible applications of flexible hybrid electronics (FHE). In his presentation he introduced solutions that enable condition monitoring and the collection of real-time data in various areas.
These include the use of sensors to regulate temperature and humidity in warehouses as well as to monitor production processes and check the condition of equipment. FHE also support the monitoring of water quality, analyses of wastewater and measuring the iron content in water.
Frueh explains the wide range of solutions with a clear objective:
We focus on providing actionable data for monitoring critical infrastructure to improve the quality of life.
The requirements and challenges for health care are changing rapidly. This is particularly evident in the current Corona pandemic as well as with regard to already known developments such as urbanization and an ageing society. Tobias Meyer (IEE) introduced the smart foot sensors technology.
In addition to existing wearables such as fitness trackers, the smart shoe sensor now offers new possibilities in the healthcare sector through printed electronics, Tobias Meyer points out:
We use sensors in the shoe to monitor, analyze and diagnose health conditions and progressing diseases.
The field of application comprises different approaches: In the neurological field, the application serves to control movement disorders and to support nerve and muscle stimulation. In addition, they also support posture correction in rehabilitation and even help to detect incipient infections.
One of the biggest challenges of the Corona pandemic is probably keeping the prescribed minimum distance in public. Alexey Sizov (Innovation Lab) presented printed sensors in floor mats as a support for social distancing in public spaces.
While the so far often used video surveillance is not without controversy in terms of both measurement accuracy and data protection, printed sensors integrated in carpets and mats have a number of advantages: In addition to the protection of data privacy, the sensor is activated when the surface is walked on, which results in a higher measuring accuracy. Thereby, data is transmitted in real time and can provide precise information on the number of people in shops or public buildings. And not only that: As Alexey Sizov confirms, the first sensors are already in use:
We are currently testing the procedure in a supermarket in Heidelberg. There we use a smart mat at the cash desk. It indicates to customers at the check-out whether they are keeping enough distance from each other.
Further web seminars from the LOPEC Talk series: