Electronic stickers turn any item into an IoT sensor

Researchers have developed a new type of electronic sticker that can be placed onto a surface and later peeled off, opening the door for rapid deployment and multiple new applications. One given example is the use of a drone featuring a thin gas-sensing electronic sticker, adding a new element of functionality to the UAV while enabling users to detect gas remotely.

The peelable circuits were created by researchers with the University of Virginia and Purdue University. The high-tech sticker, as they're being called, is relatively inexpensive to produce and can be used to directly add sensing functionality to an existing device. In the future, these stickers may also support wireless communication.

Such stickers can be used to add functionality to "dumb" objects that aren't inherently smart. Another example provided is the lowly flower pot, which could have an electronic sticker placed on it that monitors the temperature. These stickers can later be removed using water.

Potential uses are numerous, eliminating the need to manufacture chips for each object, but rather paving the way for rapid sticker creation. Future applications could take advantage of the technology by enabling users to apply the stickers to their existing items.

The stickers can be placed onto toy blocks to turn them into sensors, the researchers demonstrated. This expands the potential for the Internet of Things market and could, one day, help users create a smart home using its existing "dumb" fixtures.

SOURCE: Purdue University