In line with IDTechEx's interest in innovative electronics designs and form factors, last week Dr Harry Zervos interviewed Zoe Robson, Managing director of Zed-Studio, a spin off from London's South Bank University.
Zoe shared her views on the potential of collaborative efforts between electronics developers and designers with inspirational ideas, facilitating the transition of printed electronics from the lab onto everyday life.
Origins of Sequ-EL
Sequ-EL's roots can be traced back to 2006 and the introduction of the Footlume® concept from a group of students at London South Bank.
The Footlume® is an interactive "smart" rug, with an electroluminescent light source that is activated by pressure or sound. Powered by mains or rechargeable batteries, the Footlume® is also energy efficient with a low profile driving technology that can have a number of light sequences per design.
The strength of the concept was adequate to secure the development team a £40,000 Emerald grant from the London Development Agency, in order to further work on the concept and turn it into a demonstrator.
The prototype was consequently exhibited at the Ideal Home Show of 2008 and won the Future Concept of the Year award.
"Challenges during the development of the Footlume® demonstrator that related to the driving suite for its electroluminescent (EL) parts eventually made us want to develop our own drivers" said Zoe Robson, "Current off-the-shelf drivers were large and bulky and we found it a time consuming and expensive process designing different lighting sequences through third parties".
Overcoming these challenges led to the eventual formation of Sequ-EL which is a slim line modular lighting system, comprising of hardware and software that is used to sequence, drive and design with electroluminescent panel (EL), without the requirement for any specialist technical knowledge.
"Zed-Studio's mission has now been redefined as we are working in two ways" says Zoe. "We either provide a complete design solution to clients, incorporating EL, LED and in the near future electrochromics and OLED technologies, depending on the client's needs or, we provide just the driving suite, Sequ-EL (™ pending)".
On the designer side, Miss Robson has 9 years experience in printing and product design, Zed-Studio is very interested in understanding the way other printed electronics technologies, not just EL, work. By understandingthem, Miss Robson hopes that she can use her team's expertise in designing products in order to develop new concepts, utilizing these innovative technologies, which are desirable and would attract consumer interest.
"At Zed-Studio we see that there are many exciting printed technologies being developed and have a keen interest in designing demonstrators and applications that exploit the benefits of each technology in a creative and novel manor. In doing so our customers end up with innovative products and applications, and we help to successfully bridge the gap between the printed electronic and design industries. "
IDTechEx has always supported this move to collaborate with technologists at an earlier stage, in order to come up with creative applications, make more demonstrators, etc.
While exploring other technologies and perfecting the Sequ-EL driving suite, the company is seeking further funding in order to develop the software such that it is more user friendly, more visual and as easy to use as possible.
For more information on Zed-Studio, and Sequ-EL and its activities please, contact Miss Zoe Robson directly at email@example.com.
For more attend : Printed Electronics USA 2010