Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm) has made great strides in the field of printed electronics, having been the first company to commercialize printed rewritable memory that can include sensing, display and wireless communication – at a cost-per-function unmatched by any other form of electronics.
The company has received numerous awards for its Thinfilm Memory systems during the past year, most notably the 2012 World Technology Award as well as honorable mention from the Wall Street Journal 2012 Technology Innovation Awards. Thinfilm has entered into commercial agreements with flexible packaging leader Bemis Company to develop intelligent packaging, as well as with Hasbro to supply components for toys.
Brand protection is one area of interest to Thinfilm. Billions of dollars are lost each year to counterfeit goods, and a cost-effective solution would protect brand owners. Thinfilm and its partners have been working on solutions with customers, and have just reached a key milestone when it announced its first commercial agreement in the brand protection field.
The order, which was received from a global consumer packaged goods company, calls for Thinfilm to produce its rewritable memory system of specialized electronic labels to help stop counterfeit goods. Field trials of the Thinfilm Memory system will begin later this year.
Thinfilm Memory has an electronic signature that is virtually impossible to copy, and can be modified to create a signature unique to a product line or manufacturer. It includes robust custom-designed memory labels and a handheld reader that tests the product label and verifies its authenticity.
“This is our first order in the brand protection space,” Davor Sutija, Thinfilm’s CEO, said. “We think brand protection is a logical use for our rewritable technology. Our Thinfilm Memory has digital and analog aspects. It can store information as well as provide a unique signature that is very hard to copy. It can literally be made for pennies, and it allows us to tailor the product for the use case.
“We can now see that there is traction in the brand protection field, and getting to market is the key,” Sutija added.
David Savastano is editor of Printed Electronics Now, a sister publication of Label & Narrow Web.