The IDTechEx shows around the world provide amazing opportunities for product demonstrations, networking, and education, but may not be a feasible endeavor for budding start-ups, small companies, or research organizations to share their exciting advancements. However, in order to support the entire tech ecosystem and inspire future innovation, it is important for little-known entities to have a stage to present their breakthroughs. That is why IDTechEx provided exhibition space to ten winning companies of their Launchpad initiative, representing any of the following technologies or a combination thereof: wearable technology, IoT, 3D printing, sensors, energy harvesting, printed electronics, and graphene. These Launchpad Winners demonstrated their new technologies on the exhibition floor of the IDTechEx USA 2016 show held November 16–17 in Santa Clara, CA. The platform allowed the winners to reach new potential customers and partners and offered exposure on an international scale.
We are excited to share the fascinating and promising technology displayed by this year’s Launchpad winners:
AREVO: 3D printed carbon fiber composite materials that can be used in a host of applications, including aerospace, medicine, automotive, and electronics.
Chromation: World’s smallest spectrometer that opens up a variety of uses, including as an embedded component in wearable, IoT, or portable handheld devices.
Cosinuss°: In-ear sensor system that enables monitor and measurement of heart rate, HRV and body temperature and and soon blood oxygen level
EWPanel: Power boards that produce electricity when walked on to charge low-powered devices (such as RFID chips, temperature sensors or LED lights) or for energy storage.
Fabrisonic: 3D metal printing technology in a range of metals through a solid-state, no-melting Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing (UAM) process.
Looksee: Eyecatcher bracelet thatenables users to display slideshows of patterns, custom photos, and real-time information they choose right on their wrists.
Novus Energy Technologies: Advancements in thermoelectric technology, such as a high temperature thermoelectric generator module, a large area thermoelectric generator, a graphene and thermoelectric based automobile seat cooler/heater, and a thermoelectric cooling/heating vest.
OTI Lumionics Inc.: OLED (organic light emitting diode) technology, such as a transparent one-sided emission OLED display.
Rotex Technology: A skin-like electronic sensor patch that measures and collects biometric signals, including heart functioning (EKG), brain activity (EEG), muscle strength (EMG), respiration rate, body temperature, and skin hydration.
Ubiquitous Energy: Transparent solar technology (e.g. solar cell) which makes solar energy harvesting capable on any surface using ClearView Power™. Solar cell transmits visible light and selectively absorbs non-visible light converting it to electricity.
AREVO was honored for its application of 3D printed technology to produce carbon fiber composite materials. Combining the use of advanced materials, intelligent software, and additive manufacturing, the resulting ultra-strong parts can be used in a host of applications, including aerospace, medicine, automotive, and electronics. With its proprietary technology, AREVO produces parts that are lighter, durable, and offer higher-performance. It is clear that 3D printing is changing the landscape of parts manufacturing, and AREVO’s technology is paving the way for new applications and advancements.
Chromation produces the world’s smallest spectrometer. The sensor’s ultra-miniature form factor is made possible by the use of photonic crystals to separate the wavelengths of light. The size and low cost of the technology opens up a variety of uses for this sensor, including as an embedded component in wearable, IoT, or portable handheld devices. Light analysis, security and authentication, or chemical analysis (such as in monitoring water quality) are just a few of the potential applications for this tiny wonder. Miniaturized sensor technology such as this is helping to make a future where ubiquitous and extensive monitoring of our internal and external environments possible.
Figure 1: Built using the photonic crystal technology, Chromation’s spectrometer provides spectral range of 350-950nm with resolution up to FWHM 15nm (Power req: 5-30mA @ 5V).
This Germany-based company is revolutionizing the sports/fitness monitoring industry with their in-ear sensor system. The cosinuss° One precisely monitors heart rate, heart rate variability, body temperature, and soon blood oxygen level through a small, lightweight earpiece. As the wearable industry is eyeing ways to make monitoring technology more convenient and less obtrusive, cosinuss° is poised for success.
One of the most fascinating outcomes of energy harvesting technology is the ability to transform everyday actions into power producing activities. EWPanel makes this possible with their power boards that produce electricity when walked on to charge low-powered devices (such as RFID chips, temperature sensors, or LED lights) or for energy storage. The patented panels can be used as flooring or embedded into other materials. With such technology, people could potentially power lighting or sensors in their smart homes by just walking on their floor. In addition, the panels are low cost and environmentally friendly. The ability to capture the energy that is transferred through repetitive everyday movements could have a profound impact on the way we can produce and store energy as this technology becomes more widely utilized.
Figure 2: The panel prototype is composed of High Density Fiberboard (HDF) with nano generators embedded in between the two gray underlayment.
Fabrisonic garnered recognition for its low-temperature Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing (UAM) technology. Ultrasonic Consolidation (UC) or Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing (UAM) is a 3D printing technique for metals; it uses ultrasonic vibrations under pressure to merge metal layers drawn from oil stock. With their ultrasonic welding technology where no melting is required, dissimilar metals can be fused, sensors can be embedded within metal and protected from the outer environment, and the technology can produce metal matrix composites, such as an aluminum matrix filled with ceramic fibers, that are much stronger than pure metals. Their specialized 3D printing process allows for the creation of complex 3D shapes, with unique properties not obtainable by traditional manufacturing processes, including parts with complex internal structures.
Figure 3: Dissimilar metal foils (e.g. aluminum, copper, steel, nickel, titanium) welded together by UAM technology.