No poker face from Scott as PragmatIC deals out products
PragmatIC has launched the first products in its ConnectIC family.
The Science Park-based firm, a world leader in ultra-low cost flexible electronics, has introduced the PR1101 and PR1102 flexible integrated circuits (FlexICs), designed for use in closed high frequency RFID (radio frequency identification) systems.
These initial products in the ConnectIC family of flexible RFID circuits bring cost-effective digital traceability and interactivity to everyday objects.
“There are three main sectors for the initial roll-out,” says CEO Scott White. “There’s FMCG brands (fast-moving consumer goods that include food, drinks and toiletries); second is healthcare and there’s toys and games.”
One of the uses for PragmatIC’s technology in the games sector is in the playing cards market: the firm is now working with Belgium’s global market leader Cartamundi.
“Cartamundi make 20 billion cards a year,” Scott explains. “The project involves embedding an RFID tag into the card itself so if it’s placed in a particular place, then you’d know where that card is.
“The physical gains on a digital gaming board are that you can be aware of every piece and it makes the gameplay much more dynamic.
“You could use the deck in a casino and where poker games are broadcast, for instance, that information would be available to those watching but not those at the table.
“You can also see which deck is being used, so there’s no cheating. Our technology allows that to be democratised. It’s a very large market, 15 billion RFID tags were sold in 2018 – the single largest product in the world – but it’s still restricted to high-value applications which can afford silicon-based RFID tags.”
PragmatIC’s mission is to change all that and make RFID tags not just affordable but functional in flexible products such as clothes tags or plastic water bottles (which will help identify them for improved recycling, incidentally). There are further applications in the pharma and security sectors.
The ground-breaking ConnectIC family will be pivotal in the acceleration of the smart packaging market.
The PR1100 product series facilitates rapid detection of objects for applications including hierarchical inventory management, item identification and tracking, supply chain assurance and brand authentication. They are targeted at market segments such as food and beverage, personal and home care, pharmaceutical and healthcare. They also support the introduction of digital interactivity into physical toys and games.
“The ConnectIC family is set to bring connectivity to items we buy every day”, adds Scott.
“We have already started shipping to our partners and we anticipate rapid expansion based on clear opportunities for global customers with extensive brand portfolios who wish to add traceability and interactivity to their products.”
PragmatIC has also been boosted by £13million in new investment, as reported earlier this month.
The latest funding has come from existing shareholders Cambridge Innovation Capital, Arm and Avery Dennison, as well as new investors who share PragmatIC’s vision for digitally connecting every day objects.
The FlexICs are made in Sedgefield.