We explore the use of nanoparticle-based inks, thin-film conductors, and inkjet liquid deposition technologies, to print light-emitting elements, batteries, circuits, and sensors directly onto paper to give it electrical and computational capabilities. We look at how augmented thin film products can harvest energy, display animated graphics, and combine sound play with interactivity.
This research area allows us to design paper interfaces, flexible displays, and smart packaging, which can update their contents with real-time information. Currently, we focus on two types of artifacts:
1. Low-cost printed interfaces and posters
Rock-Paper-Scissors is an interactive poster that mimics the traditional game of the same name: Users pick their desired shape and press on it to indicate their choice for the round. The poster then circulates between a rock, paper, and scissors and makes a random decision. At the end of the turn, a scoreboard lights up to indicate the winner. A truce triggers replay.The poster is a composite image made of light emitting elements, circuit traces, printed batteries, and sensors that combines visual information with electrically and computationally functional graphics.
A video documentation of some of the design experiments can be seen here.
The xLAB: Experience Design and Technology Lab is a newly founded research initiative at Penn that consists of faculty from Schools of Engineering and Design. The lab is developing new experiences in wellness, entertainment and education with new objects, surfaces, and interfaces that can deliver content to users with novel interaction paradigms. We focus on exploring the role of printed electronics and digital fabrication technologies to develop artifacts with content-coupled Internet of Things.
Associate Professor Rahul Mangharam, PhD – Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering
Asstistant Professor Orkan Telhan, PhD – Emerging Design Practices, Department of Fine Arts, School of Design
Sarah Rottenberg – Lecturer & Associate Director, Integrated Product Design Program, School of Design
Carla Diana – Lecturer, Integrated Product Design Program, School of Design