Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Apple NFC and Thin Film Electronics

Printed Memory from Thin Film Electronics
Printed Memory from Thin Film Electronics
The new Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the first Apple devices to include a near field communications antenna. Apple's initial focus with the NFC capability will be their innovative new payments system. Going forward, NFC in the iPhone may be a big boost to a small Norwegian company named Thin Film Electronics.

Thin Film Electronics ASA is the only public company focused solely on printed electronics. Using a proprietary roll-to-roll process, the company uses gravure and screen printing technologies to print electronic components, including thin film transistors for logic, onto an expensive PET plastic. In May, they demonstrated an NFC enabled smart label for monitoring the temperature history of a package.

NFC has been available in Android devices for a couple of years, but without Apple, consumer applications for the technology have been severely hampered. With both Apple and Google on board, soon almost everyone will be carrying an NFC enabled device. This opens the door to much greater use of smart packaging which Thin Film Electronics is uniquely positioned to supply.

Smart packaging can be used to prevent counterfeiting, track storage conditions, or provide more detailed product information than will fit on the package. This kind of information can greatly improve the safety of perishable foods and pharmaceuticals.

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