Scientists have developed a method of turning paper into keyboards that can convert notebooks into music players and make food packaging interactive.
Engineers from Purdue University created the vents repellent to moisture, liquid stains, and dust from coating paper with highly-fluorinated molecules.
Then they used this layer to publish numerous layers of circuits on the paper with no smearing ink over the webpage.
The vents are powered with perpendicular strain sensors which harvest energy through contact with the consumer — so they do not require an external battery.
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“That is the first time that a self-powered paper-based electronics is attested,” said Ramses Martinez, an assistant professor at Purdue’s School of Industrial Engineering, in a statement.
In tests, the researchers used the interface to control a computer keyboard:
They also used it to create a tactile music player:
The group says the technician can be used with shared mass printing procedures and may be manufactured for only $0.25 each device.
They consider the price and ease of making the gadgets make them a workable method of turning paper or cardboard to clever packing or human-machine interfaces.
“I imagine that this technology [facilitating] the user interaction with food packaging, to confirm whether the food is safe to be absorbed, or allowing users to signal the package which arrives at house by dragging their finger across the box to correctly identify themselves because the owner of the bundle,” explained Martinez.
You can read the research paper on the method in the journal Nano Energy.
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