back to article Printed electronics: Not just blinking beer bottles

"Printed electronics" is one of those terms one sees being bandied about without really knowing what it means or why it's important. The premise of using printing techniques to create electrical circuits isn't hard to comprehend, but not everyone agrees on what comprises a "printing technique" or why you might want to use one, …

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Anonymous Coward

I positively hate those loudmouth post cards

and other things that produce awfully loud and shrill sounds. Horribly out of tune seems to be mandatory, too. We hatess them, we doess.

Then again, sounds like most of the ingredients of a basic printed mobile phone are there. If you can print some sort of display, doesn't have to generate light, then watches might be possible too.

The problem with a lot of that embedded stuff, especially RFID/NFC, is that it invites "behind your back" sneakery. Make sure the human at all times knows what's going on, and it's lots more acceptable. So, tickets that light up at the gate, say to show they're not copied, are fine. Embedded trickery that tracks you or changes state without telling you, is not. Follow that simple rule and you get a lot less resistance from your would-be users.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I positively hate those loudmouth post cards

What to do with audio playing birthday cards:

- find an annoying card with a long playtime

- make sure there are at least four of them. Ten is better

- without opening them, nest them all together so you have one fat 'book' of the same card (as if you opened them flat, stacked them inside up, and folded them all again)

- open the whole bunch together

Now they'll all play at -almost- the same time and -almost- the same pitch. Congratulations, you've got "I'm lightning McQueen, world's fastest racing machine!" through the chorus filter from hell and ten times as loud as normal. The longer the sample, the crazier the pitch differences get. Find a country song lasting 30 seconds and by the time you get half way through it's as disturbing as a David Lynch movie.

People will look at you, though.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: People will look at you, though.

Thanks for that. Satisfyingly, gratifyingly bonkers.

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Thumb Up

Re: People will look at you, though.

The other fun thing is to, with as many friends as possible, press all the trigger buttons on a shelf of sound-making toys. Or, if you're solo (or your wife refuses to help and instead slinks off to the next aisle, rolling her eyes and pretending you haven't met), you can hit pairs of buttons in sequence, at appropriate timing:

FIREMEN TO THE RESCUE! WAAOOO WAAOOO WAAWOOO HONK VROOM!

FIREMEN TO THE RESCUE! WAAOOO WAAOOO WAAWOOO HONK VROOM!

..........................FIREMEN TO THE RESCUE! WAAOOO WAAOOO WAAWOOO HONK VROOM!

..........................FIREMEN TO THE RESCUE! WAAOOO WAAOOO WAAWOOO HONK VROOM!

....................................................FIREMEN TO THE RESCUE! WAAOOO WAAOOO WAAWOOO HONK VROOM!

....................................................FIREMEN TO THE RESCUE! WAAOOO WAAOOO WAAWOOO HONK VROOM!

..etc.

I love the toy section.

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Vic
Silver badge

Re: I positively hate those loudmouth post cards

> - make sure there are at least four of them. Ten is better

- Put them in the microwave. 5 minutes at 650W is generally sufficient.

Vic.

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"LEDs are more of a problem as no one has managed to print them onto a flexible substrate yet"

What about OLEDs?

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and as an "armchair engineer" I'd also have thought that if you were printing onto something even slighly compliant (like plastic) than LEDs with "stabby shaped" legs could just be pressed or punched into the surface?

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Unhappy

Hmm...

If this illuminated packaging catches on, then the drive back from the supermarket will look like a scene from "Repo Man".

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Silver badge

Hmm, add radio and solar panels...

And you'll have cheap wireless routers you can stick onto lampposts.

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