Printed and Flexible Sensors will reach over USD 140M in 2013
Facing a mature global sensors industry, printed and flexible sensors will likely reach for new markets using their unique advantages of flexibility, area and functionality. They also offer cost improvements over some conventional sensors, although that is not the main selling point. Printed and flexible sensors offer distinct advantages and potential advantages over non-printed sensors, such as being lower cost to the point of being disposable, thin, lower and conformal profiled, flexible, large area, and the exciting possibility of creating devices on a variety of substrates each shaped and individually tailored to operate uniquely. Consumer Electronics and Medical Sensors Leading Consumer electronics and biomedical glucose sensors are the biggest application of printed and flexible sensors today and will continue to be so in ten years from now. Other new emerging applications, that will catch a noteworthy portion of the market are automotive, environmental and emissive, gas and balloon, dental, genetic and breath sensors. Biomedical glucose sensors are by far the largest component of the printed sensors market, with glucose test strips beeing the largest component within this market sector. T-ink has sold printed sensors in toys and games including inflatable radios and board games such as “Clue”. Printed switches have appeared in clothing to control volume and tracks on music players. This summer FlexTech Alliance has awarded a grant to develop and manufacture an integrated printed sensor system for use in multiple healthcare and product monitoring applications. The project leverages commercial development work currently underway between PARC and Thinfilm Electronics on designing a printed sensor platform and will integrate temperature sensing as well as assess an oxygen sensor being developed at the University of California at Berkeley.