The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has announced a UK-based consortium to develop a novel printed energy harvesting device that is powered by NFC. The device will facilitate the wider adoption of NFC-enabled applications in consumer packaging, document and brand security, in addition to wireless sensor networks for defence, healthcare and medical devices.
The 18 month Innovate UK project titled ‘HaRFest’ is being led by PragmatIC and involves CPI alongside the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large-Area Electronics, represented by its academic partners University of Cambridge and the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (Swansea University). The aim of the project is to develop and scale up production of the energy harvesting device which is suitable for integration with sensors, displays and storage devices. The device will house a printed antenna alongside printed passive and active components, including an array of tuning capacitors. The device will be able to be tuned to resonant frequency and thus maximise the harvested power output.
New opportunities are opening up to integrate high volume, low cost printed sensors into everyday products. With applications present in a number of market sectors, the IoT and NFC are increasingly gathering attention from businesses, technology providers and most importantly the modern day consumer. NFC allows consumers to intuitively communicate with everyday items such as product packaging. The printing of electronic functionality has enabled designers to embed technology into their designs, creating innovative components that are low cost, smarter, lightweight and wireless.