Interview with Scott Lindblad, patent owner on Wire-Write technology
Reporter: Where you see circuitry technology going? Where is it today and where is it going the future?
Interviewee: We’ve been producing flexible circuits for coming up on twenty five years. I’m actually the patent holder for placing electronic components on flex circuity; that’s a world patent from the 80’s so we have a lot of experience building this type of technology. What we’re finding is that standard flex technology is not flexible enough for the consumer. Most people are used to the hard board world where everything’s very rigid, very set in stone. We can introduce to them the flex world. Historically we’ve seen flex circuits in mobile phones, ABS brakes and in disc drives where they were designed to flex hundreds of millions of times in a very short distance. What our customers are asking is how do I put this technology in my clothing? How do I put it in the shoe? How do I wear it on my helmet? They want it to survive a product life designed for wash cycles, freezing, heating, cooling, etc. We’ve found that the standard flex circuit technology doesn’t meet these market demands close enough so we’ve invented a new technology called the Wire Write technology. With Wire Write technology we can take wire the size of a human hair or smaller and we can put that into a pattern on any substrate. We can expand that offering let’s say we want to put it on cotton or a polyester film that’s already built into the clothing. Now we can put wire anywhere and an advantage is we have no chemicals in the process and we can pattern this into basically any shape.
Reporter: As far as size goes for wire write circuits, how small are they?
Interviewee: Wire Write can range from the size of a dime to a windshield tag on an automobile, but we can also go a lot larger. If we have customers that want eighteen inches by eighteen inches we can write in to that field as well.
A couple of markets we’re addressing are medical, automotive and consumer. Those three industries seem to be the primary drivers at this point because people have a lot of information based on their activity and and movement.
We also have a product called InfoSkin. It’s designed with skin adhesion and can be placed right on your hand. This will get the same read range as you do with other products and you can order this in destructible or non-destructible. Let’s say you have a theme park, you can wear this for three days and you don’t want it to transfer when you peel it off you can order the destructible version and it will self-destruct when you take it off. Or we can embed polyester and other materials sets in there and it’ll stay on for any life span.
Reporter: You guys are putting your circuitry through a lot of rigorous tests, tell me about that.
Interviewee: We have a test on a flex circuit that is bending it one hundred and eighty degrees back and forth. That test can simulate being embedded into a shirt or jacket. We have made iterations now using this test chamber, at this point it just passed a million cycles without breaking and it is still running.
Reporter: Where do see this going in the future? What applications do you really see?
Interviewee: Let’s say a person gets on a treadmill and instead of trying to figure out the recipe on the treadmill equipment you get on and the machine automatically senses that it’s you it sets up your profile to keep track of all your data and when you get off the treadmill it would stop recording.
We have been accepting orders for Wire Write and we’re gearing up production right now. The order process looks like this: typically if you’re coming in with a design, we do a design review same day. Prototypes are done very quick, usually within one to two days and then production starts after that.