Circuit stickers are a new way to build electronic prototypes by adhering physical interface elements such as LEDs, sounders, buttons and sensors onto a cheap and easy-to-make substrate which provides the necessary electrical connectivity. This assembly may include control electronics and a battery for standalone operation, or it can be interfaced to a microcontroller or PC.
The wiring which connects the stickers together can be created in different ways. We are particularly interested in leveraging a technique called instant inkjet printing - this is a way of quickly and cheaply printing conductive circuits onto photo-paper using a domestic inkjet printer. This technology is available from a University of Tokyo spin-out. Circuit stickers provide a versatile and low-cost way of extending instant inkjet printing, supporting quick and easy construction of physically flexible and functional interactive prototypes. We think that this technology has potential for design exploration, research prototyping, education and for hobbyist projects.
This work is a collaboration between many different people with diverse backgrounds and interests who are exploring different aspects of the circuit sticker concept. In particular, Jie Qi at MIT and Bunnie Huang are particularly interested in empowering designers, artists, engineers, kids, students and teachers to build interactive projects and have launched a set of stickers for sale.
We would ultimately like to combine these techniques with 3D printing so that devices with both physical form and electronic functionality can be prototyped and manufactured quickly and easily.
- Koya Narumi, Xinyang Shi, Steve Hodges, Yoshihiro Kawahara, Shinya Shimizu, and Tohru Asami, Circuit Eraser: A Tool for Iterative Design with Conductive Ink, in CHI Extended Abstracts, ACM – Association for Computing Machinery, April 2015.
- Yoshihiro Kawahara, Steve Hodges, Nan-Wei Gong, Simon Olberding, and Jürgen Steimle, Building Functional Pervasive Computing Prototypes using Conductive Inkjet Printing, in Pervasive Computing, IEEE, July 2014.
- Steve Hodges, Bjoern Hartmann, Hans Gellersen, and Albrecht Schmidt, A revolution in the Making, in Pervasive Computing, IEEE, July 2014.
- Nan-Wei Gong, Jürgen Steimle, Simon Olberding, Steve Hodges, Nicolas Gillian, Yoshihiro Kawahara, and Joseph A. Paradiso, PrintSense: A Versatile Sensing Technique to Support Multimodal Flexible Surface Interaction, ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2014, April 2014.
- Steve Hodges, Nicolas Villar, Nicholas Chen, Tushar Chugh, Jie Qi, Diana Nowacka, and Yoshihiro Kawahara, Circuit Stickers: Peel-and-Stick Construction of Interactive Electronic Prototypes, ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2014, April 2014.
- Yoshihiro Kawahara, Steve Hodges, Benjamin S. Cook, Cheng Zhang, and Gregory D. Abowd, Instant Inkjet Circuits: Lab-based Inkjet Printing to Support Rapid Prototyping of UbiComp Devices, in UbiComp '13, ACM International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing , September 2013.
- John Sarik, Alex Butler, Nicolas Villar, James Scott, and Steve Hodges, Combining 3D printing and printable electronics, in Proceedings of TEI 2012 Works in Progress, ACM, 2012.