‘Printed light’ is just one of a number of innovative print technologies being showcased at Heidelberg’s FEZ research and development centre.
Lighting effects based on electroluminescence or printed OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes, pictured) are a form of printed electronics which constitute the lighting elements of the future in print products, the press maker says.
Heidelberg says it is also working on advanced concepts for decorative light on larger areas.
Based on the Innovation Gallery concept from the DRUPA print trade show, the FEZ showcases areas where Heidelberg is looking to play an active role in shaping the future of print.
Market-ready and demonstration products show what is is already possible in surface finishing and printed electronics, while other areas, such as printing on 3D objects, digital imaging, and drying are displayed as pioneering technologies.
Frank Kropp, Heidelberg’s head of research and development says the DRUPA display focussed on application-oriented topics. “In the future, the FEZ's Innovation Gallery will cover other key topics and document the progress made. We will also be exhibiting some extraordinary things to highlight the full scope of future developments."
Printed, intelligent surfaces called touchcodes, shown in the form of interactive printed ID cards with an integrated electronic structure are one example of an application that has already reached the market-ready stage.
Placing a touchcode card of this kind on an iPad opens an app or web browser that offers access to specific content. The card therefore serves as a copy-protected license for electronic information in protected or closed applications, for example, thus building a bridge to mobile terminals.
Unlike conventional QR codes, there is no need to take a photo using a smartphone. The touchcode acts as a paper key and is simply placed on the display. In cooperation with Chemnitz-based Printechnologics, Heidelberg has developed touchcode technology applications for particular market segments and shows, how these applications can be employed.
Other examples show printing on any surface including 3D, surface drying and digital imaging.