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back to article Bangable poster firm Novalia makes printed 'leccy keyboard

The Cambridge company Novalia is working to launch a printed keyboard in the next year. What makes it special is a process which allows x-y printing, which means much more speedy production of the 'boards. Both layers are printed at the same time While the Cambridge-based company has previously shown devices with discrete …

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Impressive.

That printable PDA you asked for just might have gotten a little bit closer to reality.

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[Delete this report on a small typo]How foldable are these keyboards...

[Not

printing ordianry labels

but

printing ordinary labels

]

...can they be rolled like window blinds?

@Alex4D

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Happy

Yay!

33 years after it was first launched we can now print our own ZX-81

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Presumably you can create your own at home using a piece of paper and a graphite pencil?

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Anonymous Coward

@fibbles

Tried that as a student project. The answer is no. Resistance is far too high and transitioning from graphite to another circuit is problematic; also the expansion and contraction of the paper with moisture causes the track resistance to increase with time.

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JDX
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Re: @fibbles

However you can do this, which is almost the same:

ElectronInks KickStarter

edit: this is in production, having brought in 7X the amount they wanted HomePage

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Re: @fibbles

"Tried that as a student project"

Well done on at least trying it.

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"Presumably you can create your own at home using a piece of paper and a graphENe pencil?"

FTFY

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Want it

I want one NOW! Just because.

Way cool, imagine them sold in packs fo 10 !!!

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Meh

Clever tech, possibly depressing implications

"One major application will be point of sale where custom materials can be used for a short promotional campaign and then thrown away"

Hope they're recyclable and not an incredibly hi-tech new way to create more landfill.

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WTF?

Re: Clever tech, possibly depressing implications

Where is this 'away' of which you speak?

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no * As In "* Where printer head can operate from either axis"

What does the * relate to?

I can't find a * in the article and neither can Firefox's search!

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It has been done before

My father invented a technique for printing circuits like this using standard printing presses that normally print magazines, books or newspapers over 25 years ago. That is much more standard than presses that print on bottles and would have run at much higher speeds. We had test circuits on normal self adhesive paper labels. Unfortunately no tech company in the UK was interested, he tried Ferranti, Marconi and all the rest, and eventually we had to let the patents drop. :(

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So that means..

No money in it then no money in it now?

Print coma to suit.

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... used for a short promotional campaign and then thrown away

Why oh why do we think this way? Can't we be more responsible with our available resources?

I think the use of ink and paper is a great way to replace "nasty" materials such as plastics assuming the ink naturally degrades harmlessly and is itself "clean" in its production processes and companies invest in growing the trees required. I'd be very happy to use such products.

Having said all this, I am applying double standards because I don't avoid use of traditional products. I do grumble about packaging but that's about as far as it gets. On the flip side, I don't tend to "upgrade" anything until the previous device (phone, iron, TV etc.) dies or is literally obsolete. There, I feel better already.

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100 million keyboards a minute?!

Oh, probably that means 100 metres....

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Cats

Why are there two cats on each of the circuit boards / pieces of paper?

"I haz printed electronics" is soooo 2007.

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Re: Cats

For the same reason there is a Cyberman in the video?

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Intresting

Be nice if they could add a printed solar cell to recharge/do away with the battery. I can see uses on interactive posters and the like

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JDX
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Re: Intresting

Has anyone done that yet? You could print the whole sheet AS a solar cell except where it was used for circuitry.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Intresting

The concept of printing CIGS cells using an ink is in active research, but not on paper (too rough and heat treatment is needed) and the current ones are hopelessly uneconomic - solar yield is very poor and the indium in the CIGS is rare and expensive.

One of those might possibly work one day technologies, I think.

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It's like a touchscreen,

except that the picture doesn't change!

So...?

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A proper keyboard?

I've seen some very good all-in-one bits of cardboard that fold in to some quite complex box shapes with internal separators as part of said single piece. A clever combination of structural design and origami.

So, in light of that, can I have a printed, foldable keyboard with properly angled full travel keys that makes a nice satisfying "click" when pressed?

It's an impressive step forward, especially in light of the graphene news out of IBM today.

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Anonymous Coward

There is so much prior art in this area.

http://dea.brunel.ac.uk/cleaner/electronics_projects/Handbook_1.htm

(google 'conductive lithographic films')

Commercially available screen inks have been available for this application for decades, as have paper keyboards/switch pads/wallpaper/posters/toys.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Magic-Roundabout-Electronic-Alphabet/dp/B0007VTBPM

(google kids delight magic roundabout)

We did a disposable qwerty keyboard for a customer that was a piece of A4 printed with electric, graphic and adhesive ink folded twice, and stuck on to itself. Last century...

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Anonymous Coward

Bangable

I'm not sure if 'bang' has the same potential meanings in the UK as in the US, but over here, a poster would have to be very attractive indeed before most people would consider banging it.

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