The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Electronics on Paper

Paper electronics could pave the way to a new generation of cheap, flexible gadgets

12 min read
02PaperElectronicsSteckl
Photo: Adam Zocco/Andrew J. Steckl/University of Cincinnati

You wake up with a heavy head. Was it the half dozen glasses of champagne last night or are you getting sick? In your bathroom is a little strip of paper that can tell you for sure. You place it on your tongue and after a few seconds, you pull it back to see the bad news: There’s a small green dot next to the word “flu.” When you fish your doctor’s business card out of your wallet, you notice it looks different from the last time you looked at it. The phone number for his office was originally black. Now it’s displayed in blinking red letters, a sign that the number was changed recently.

The electronics in this scenario are not far off; in fact the basic technological breakthroughs needed to make them work have all been achieved in the past few years. At the moment the costs are still too high for them to be used in things like business cards or package labels, but remarkable advances in materials science and simpler fabrication methods are setting the stage for a whole new breed of cheap, bendable, disposable, and perhaps even recyclable electronics. And some of the most exciting work in this field is happening with paper.

Keep reading...Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

The EV Transition Explained: Charger Infrastructure

How many, where, and who pays?

7 min read
Illuminated electric vehicle charging stations at night in Monterey Park, California.

Electric vehicle charging stations in Monterey Park, California.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

The ability to conveniently charge an EV away from home is a top concern for many EV owners. A 2022 survey of EV owners by Forbes indicates that 62 percent of respondents are so anxious about their EV range that travel plans have been affected. While “range anxiety” may be overblown, the need for an extensive and reliable external charging infrastructure is not.

Infrastructure terminology can itself be confusing. For clarity, bear in mind that a charging station is a specific physical location which has one or more charging posts. A charging post itself may have one or more ports, where each port can charge a single EV. Each post may have multiple types of service connectors to support different EV charging connector standards. And a port may supply varying power levels.

Keep Reading ↓Show less
{"imageShortcodeIds":[]}

Video Friday: Humanoid Soccer

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read
Humans and human-size humanoid robots stand together on an indoor soccer field at the beginning of a game

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
ICRA 2023: 29 May–2 June 2023, LONDON

Enjoy today’s videos!

Keep Reading ↓Show less

Fourth Generation Digitizers With Easy-to-Use API

Learn about the latest generation high-performance data acquisition boards from Teledyne

1 min read

In this webinar, we explain the design principles and operation of our fourth-generation digitizers with a focus on the application programming interface (API).

Register now for this free webinar!

Keep Reading ↓Show less