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Best Paper Award at CHI 2016

We are proud to announce that our publication about FlexCase, one of the FLASHED demonstrators, got a Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2016. FlexCase explores the augmentation of interaction with existing smartphones with a flexible, interactive sensing cover. The paper will be presented at the conference in San Jose at May, 11th.

Find a video of FlexCase here.

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Consortium Meeting at Fraunhofer ISC

From April 28th to 29th the FLASHED consortium met for another consortium meeting in Würzburg, Germany, to discuss the progress of the project. The first day we discussed the results and progress in each work package and on the final demonstrators. At the second day we had an interesting tour through Fraunhofer’s labs and continued coordination on demonstrator development and dissemination activities.

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Consortium Meeting at Joanneum Research

A very productive consortium meeting took place on 23rd to 24th of April 2015 at Joanneum Research in Weiz, Austria. At the first day all consortium partners presented their intermediate results whilst all partners contributed with active and constructive discussion. After a tour through Joanneum Research’s labs we discussed the outline and procedure for the upcoming Review meeting in Brussels, Belgium. The second day was reserved for a technical meeting where the consortium discussed the next steps for each work package. Furthermore, the dissemination activities in FLASHED were discussed and coordinated.

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The Launch of FlexEnable

For over a decade, Plastic Logic has been at the forefront of the development of the plastic electronics industry and the creation of truly flexible electronics technology and industrial capability.

This capability has now reached the point where it’s possible and proven to be able to manufacture arrays with millions of perfect flexible transistors over areas of any size and shape and in high volumes. The Plastic Logic flexible transistor platform has now been industrially proven to be able to form active backplanes for LCD, OLED, EPD and other display media and has been successfully broadened to be able to enable solutions for sensors and integrated systems on fully-flexible, plastic.

Being able to perfectly create flexible electronics on plastic enables transformational advantages for product shape, weight, and durability and enables a path to low-cost solutions for high volumes. This is all perfectly suited to match the requirements of the exploding markets for wearables, new mobile devices and distributed, flexible sensors for IoT applications.

To generate focus while addressing the full range of opportunities available in these markets, the technology development and manufacturing parts of Plastic Logic will be separated and will go forward as independent companies.

FlexEnable has been created from Plastic Logic’s people and its technology assets in Cambridge, UK. Based on Plastic Logic’s full technology and patent portfolio, FlexEnable will independently provide expertise, technology and products to system builders, device makers and product companies to enable innovative, volume products – www.flexenable.com.

The manufacturing plant in Dresden, Germany, which develops, manufactures and sells a range of flexible, electrophoretic displays (EPD), will operate independently under the name Plastic Logic Germany – www.plasticlogic.com.

I believe that the full potential of plastic electronics is now emerging as transformational developments in flexible transistor performance and bold, new concepts drive more and more applications. This, combined with the proven manufacturability and scalability of our transistor technology platform, makes this a defining moment for the industry. I look forward to working with our many partners and colleagues to fulfil the tremendous promise of plastic electronics in this exciting new era.

(c) FlexEnable Ltd.

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Talk & People’s Choice Best Demo Award at UIST 2014

At this year’s Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology the consortium presented FlexSense, a flexible thin input surface based on FLASHED technology. The flexible input sheet is capable of reconstructing even complex deformations without any external sensing software, only based on a sparse set of piezoelectric bend sensors.  The talk at the conference was held by Christian Rendl from Media Interaction Lab together with David Kim from Microsoft Research.

Additionally to the talk, Christian Rendl and Martin Zirkl from Joanneum Research demonstrated the prototype at the conference’s Demo Reception. The attending people gave amazing feedback and awarded the demo with one of three “People’s Choice Best Demo Honorable Mention” awards.

Moreover, the project attracted special attention of the international tech press (among others, CNETTheVergeGizmodo).

 

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FLASHED: Official Press Release

The FLASHED (Flexible Large Area Sensors for Highly Enhanced Displays) consortium was formed to develop a large area (A3 size) pressure sensitive display. The development timeframe is 36 months and the goal is to produce a demonstration piece. Cambridge (UK) based Plastic Logic’s participation was sought due to its wealth of experience in the development and industrialisation of flexible organic thin film transistor (OTFT) backplanes for display and sensor applications. The other participating organisations are Microsoft Research Ltd, also Cambridge based, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V based in Germany, Media Interaction Lab from the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria and JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, both based in Austria. In addition to Plastic Logic’s OTFT experience it, along with Media Interaction Lab and Microsoft Research, has experience in the creation and refining of demonstrator pieces.

As well as the demonstrator piece, another commercially-important legacy will be the resultant portfolio of intellectual property (IP), the licensing and income from which will be distributed to the participating organisations in accordance with their pre-existing IP and the particular value they added. The outcome of the FLASHED project will be to give new impetus to the European display and printed sensor sectors throughout the value chain. It helps position the emerging European flexible electronics industry in the equivalent place to that currently occupied by the Asian glass-based display industry and it will create new opportunities for European companies, not in linear improvements to existing solutions but in the creation of new and innovative products. The technology emphasis of the FLASHED device is to develop flexible, energy efficient, sustainable, cost efficient flexible display. Great emphasis has been placed on user-friendly interfaces that will incorporate haptic or acoustic feedback with a pressure-sensing touchscreen.

Four of the main markets are touchscreens, flexible electrophoretic displays, flexible multimedia displays (where Plastic Logic already has active programmes in flexible LCD and OLED) and printed sensors. The projected 2017 market value in US$ for such are 28bn, 6bn, 100bn and 0.22bn respectively, with the latter possibly rising to US$20bn for pressure-sensitive touch interfaces. Applications include touchscreens, e-readers plus low power applications such as smart cards and wearable devices, flexible OLED and consumer products, smart packaging and signage.

About Plastic Logic
Plastic Logic is the recognised leader in organic thin-film transistors (OTFT) and is at the forefront of research and investment in plastic electronics. The company has industrialised the process and now manufactures a range of high-quality flexible plastic displays. These shatterproof daylight readable displays are ultra-thin, ultra-lightweight and very low power, offering huge advantages over conventional screens as they are extremely flexible with proven lifetimes. Flexible displays enable revolutionary design possibilities and are set to transform existing markets, such as signage, wristwatches and other wearable devices, and automotive as well as many others. Plastic Logic is backed by major investors including Oak Investment Partners and Rusnano.
Find out more about Plastic Logic and its robust, flexible displays by visiting http://www.plasticlogic.com. and http://www.youtube.com/plasticlogic.
Companies interested in working together with Plastic Logic should contact info@plasticlogic.com.
Patrick Too: +44 (0) 1223 706038 M +44 (0)7979050713 e: patrick.too@plasticlogic.com

About Media Interaction Lab, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria
The Media Interaction Lab is the leading Austrian research lab in the area of Human-Computer Interaction. As part of the Department for Interactive Media of the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria in Hagenberg, the Lab integrates research and education and provides students with a project-based learning environment. Both undergraduate, graduate and PhD students from our University and abroad carry out projects in the lab. Students can undertake projects in the lab as part of their studies or alternatively work in the lab as an extracurricular activity. Currently, the lab is working on a range of projects in collaboration with industry and academia. Over the past six years, the research group has mainly focused on exploring the potential of Interactive Environments as a medium for dramatic experience. The lab’s research has three main focuses: exploring novel interface technologies, developing new interaction techniques, and evaluating user interfaces. In FLASHED, the Media Interaction Lab will primarily develop the natural user interface based on the FLASHED technology. With the strong HCI experience, the lab will also support the project during the empirical research studies.

About Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.
The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e. V. is the largest organisation for applied research in Europe. Research topics are amongst others “safety and security”, “information and communication”, or “environmentally friendly production”. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research located in Würzburg, Germany, is one of the most experienced institutes with respect to sol-gel materials and hybrid material concepts. It investigates and optimizes materials to provide new solutions for topics like: coatings for finishing, materials for energy storage and saving, smart materials, and materials used in the field of life science (diagnostics and therapeutic materials). The needs of the industrial customer form the guideline of the material development of Fraunhofer ISC taking into consideration the function, the processing and the scalability of the material as well as legally and economic aspects.
For a decade, the institute has been developing materials for printed electronics, such as dielectrics and barrier materials, and, finally, for printed sensor applications. This expertise is used in the FLASHED project to create novel sensor concepts, touch screens and interface technologies. The knowledge is amplified by fruitful long-time co-operations with Joanneum Research, Austria, and other renowned research institutes and technology driven companies.

About JOANNEUM RESEARCH
JOANNEUM RESEARCH is a professional innovation and technology provider with a track record of 30 years in cutting-edge research at international level. It focuses on applied research and technology development, thus playing a key role in technology and knowledge transfer in Styria. JOANNEUM RESEARCH actively cooperates with the business and public sectors to generate new innovations and carries out application-oriented research and development projects to promote technology transfer to industry. It´s strengthens its activities as a professional innovation and technology provider with a focus on applied research and technology development.
Institute for Surface Technologies and Photonics: Our team of around 60 researchers provides interdisciplinary solutions across the entire value chain – from the idea to the prototype – using cutting edge technologies and methods based on miniaturisation, integration and materials optimisation. Combined with state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure we offer innovative solutions and services tailored to the needs of business and industry. More than 20 years of close cooperation with leading research institutions such as the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Austrian based Graz University of Technology or the University of Leoben enable us to continuously improve and extend our portfolio of expertise.

About Microsoft Research
Microsoft Research is one of the leading research organizations in the world. The research lab in Cambridge in UK was established over 15 years ago and brings research expertise into novel sensors, signal and image processing algorithms and human computer interaction. The Interactive 3D technologies (I3D) group and the Computer Vision group, the two groups that will be engaged within the FLASHED project, have already been responsible for projects such as the Kinect body tracking algorithms, the Microsoft Touch Mouse (a mouse with a curved multi-touch sensor), the Microsoft Surface and the Sensor-in-Pixel touch display. This level of expertise ranges from the underlying hardware design through to the user experience.

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Award at Symposium on Natural User Interfaces

Last week Michael Haller and Christian Rendl from the Media Interaction Lab attended a Symposium on Natural User Interfaces in Grasmere, UK. The symposium was organised by Rank Prize Funds and invited ten leading scientists from the HCI field to meet with around twenty younger researchers for three days of talks and discussions. In an informal atmosphere, all participants presented their ongoing work.

Michael talked about “Designing natural user interfaces: From large interactive surfaces to flexible input sensors”, whereas Christian presented  several concepts of FLASHED as well as the ongoing work on the  underlying sensor technology PyzoFlex. The audience was very inspired of the possibilites of the FLASHED technology and gave great feedback and new ideas for possible use-cases.

The jury awarded Christian together with Yanxia Zhang from Lancaster University, UK, with the Rank Prize for the best contributed papers at the symposium.

 

Image: (c) www.lakelovers.co.uk

Kickoff Meeting

Kickoff Meeting at Hagenberg

On November 7th-8th the FLASHED consortium met in Hagenberg, Austria, for the official kickoff meeting.

The meeting started with the introduction of all partners on Thursday. Furthermore, project coordinator Prof. Dr. Haller gave an overview about the organizational and management-related details of the project. A guided tour through the famous Ars Electronica Center in Linz and the following dinner rounded off the day. On the second day, all partners presented their visions of FLASHED followed by some related demos. In the afternoon, the consortium tried to bundle the broad variety of ideas to define the further roadmap of FLASHED.

The Media Interaction Lab as host of the first meeting would like to thank all consortium partners for their active participation.