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The Internet of Things, Soon Accessible by Smartphone

A forthcoming packaging chip could let your phone talk to the plastic wrap on your cheese.
July 10, 2012

The heady day when the shrink-wrap on your broccoli can be scanned by your smartphone for the latest recipes just moved a bit closer.

Thinfilm, a Norwegian company, is putting printed wireless transmitters together with existing printed logic, memory, sensor, and battery systems on product packaging. This novel assemblage will be commercialized in 2014, the company says, in partnership with Bemis, a Wisconsin packaging company that makes 200 billion packages a year for meat, cheese, medical devices, and personal care products.

“This is a step toward an Internet of things, where you have the embodiment of a printed system that can go on any object,” says Davor Sutija, CEO, Thinfilm, in an interview yesterday.

Thinfilm has already put printed memory together with printed transistors on the same sheet of plastic in a partnership with PARC, and had previously announced plans to include printed batteries and printed displays, too.

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