Submitted by: Ulbe Jelluma 30/08/2016
Printed electronics open the door to innovative and engaging new applications. We've been following the developments at Novalia, one of the most important players in this domain, for years. It took a while before the use of print fitted with electronics found its use. But now two fast food chains have developed beautiful applications.
Pizza Hut has transformed the inside of a pizza box into a battery-powered two-deck DJ set-up. It includes pitch control, volume and crossfader. You can scratch, rewind tracks and sync. It connects via Bluetooth with your computer or phone and is compatible with DJ software. It is distributed in the UK for only 5 lucky buyers of a pizza. Novalia produces the circuits for this amazing pizza box.
McDonalds also developed an engagement tool for its customers; the McTrax. The McTrax is a place mat printed with conductive inks that link 26 digital touchpoints and contains a small battery. While using your smart phone as a speaker you can play with the audio loops, synths and other musical effects. By downloading an app and sync it to the placemat you can start creating your own music. The McTrax is rolled out in The Netherlands.
Printed electronics are being used by some big advertisers in promotional applications, mainstream use is still far away. Maybe not for functional use as Smither Pira estimates that in 2015 33% of the functional industrial print market consisted of printed electronics. More print advertising applications will therefore follow.