Nano ePrint - Case Study


Nano ePrint was formed in 2006 following pioneering research at the University of Manchester and is now based at the Manchester Incubator Building. Nano ePrint produces printed logic circuits that enable intelligence and interactivity to be introduced into a wide range of application areas in form factors that are not possible using silicon chips – for example: ultra thin, flexible, robust, transparent.

Nano ePrint’s printed logic circuits are applicable to any product requiring low cost, non-invasive electronic functionality. Electronics can be integrated on plastic, paper, card or metal surfaces, which may be curved or flexible. It can be transparent, or integrated into the artwork of the product, and is ultra thin so it does not stand out. In essence, imagine a product or package that looks normal, until you touch it or interact with it in some other way – and then suddenly it activates a light, or a logo, or a dynamic illustration... just like magic!

Some early possibilities include:

  • Electronic greeting cards – For example, when you open it, the card pops up an image of a firework display complete with flashing fireworks.
  • Animated branding – Bring a brand logo or strap-line to life by making it flash or change when the consumer touches it.
  • Interactive mail-outs and magazine inserts – Make direct mail marketing campaigns more interesting and informative for the consumer, for example by directing them to ideal products based on a simple touch-sensitive questionnaire.
  • Games and toys – Engage with the child and leisure markets in an entirely new way, for example by incorporating simple games directly into magazines or cards.
  • Smart packaging – Integrate useful functionality into the packaging of a product, for example a timer allowing the consumer to easily check how long their hair dye has been applied and telling them when to remove it.
  • Brand protection – Allow the consumer to easily authenticate your products via a label that shows a visual feature (e.g. your logo) when touched or placed near an RF source.

Over time, the functionality can become even more sophisticated, addressing additional applications such as:

  • Ubiquitous sensors – Fully printed, low cost sensors for medical and consumer use. Nano ePrint’s logic circuit interprets the signal from a printed transducer (e.g. an electro-chemical material to detect a certain substance) and drives a certain output or action (e.g. a display indicating presence or absence of that substance).
  • Flexible display drivers – Nano ePrint’s technology provides high performance, high density row and column drivers integrated onto a printed flexible display backplane. This eliminates the large number of driver interconnects currently required, reducing cost and power consumption and improving reliability and durability.
  • Printed RF electronics – Compact, low cost UHF and HF circuits with integrated antennas. This enables not just low cost standards-compliant printed RFID, but also highly configurable security tags for applications such as passports, high value postal items and even banknotes.


Richard Price (VP Product Management)

0161 603 8099

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