Printed/flexible sensors for a connected future

S. Dale
United Kingdom

Keywords: printed sensors, flexible sensors, printed electronics, IoT, Industry 4.0, gas sensors, pressure sensors, image sensors, temperature sensors


Sensors are an especially promising application for printed/flexible electronics, with the inherent light weight, printability and conformality providing a clear value proposition for multiple use cases. These include leak detection, battery monitoring in electric vehicles, touch sensors for gesture recognition, thin film image sensors, wearable electrodes and many more. While the specific market drivers clearly vary by technology, the overall picture is very promising and driven by the ever-increasing demand for continuous monitoring of healthcare parameters, environmental conditions, packages, and industrial equipment. Often referred to as the ‘Internet of Things’ or ‘Industry 4.0’, this monitoring will clearly require substantially increased volumes of low-cost sensors, with flexibility and a thin-film form factor advantageous for many applications. This talk will explore the current status of the entire printed/flexible electronics market, assessing the readiness level of the different technologies for each application. Case studies of the most compelling recent sensor innovations will be discussed. Most importantly, the commercial prospects for different printed/flexible sensor technologies will be evaluated, with many expected to see substantial growth as data from connected devices becomes increasingly utilized.