Touchscreen Tags Based on Thin-Film Electronics for the Internet of Everything

Nat Electron. 2019 Dec;2(12):606-611. doi: 10.1038/s41928-019-0333-z. Epub 2019 Dec 16.


Capacitive touchscreens are increasingly widespread, featuring in mobile phones and tablets, as well as everyday objects such as cars and home appliances. As a result, the interfaces are uniquely placed to provide a means of communication in the era of the Internet of Everything. Here we show that commercial touchscreens can be used as reader interfaces for capacitive coupled data transfer. The transfer of data to the touchscreen is achieved using a 12-bit thin-film capacitive radio frequency identification tag powered by a thin-film battery or a thin-film photovoltaic cell that converts light from the screen. The thin-film integrated circuit has a 0.8 cm2 on-chip monolithic antenna, employs 439 transistors, and dissipates only 31 nW of power at a supply voltage of 600 mV. The chip has an asynchronous data rate of up to 36 bps, which is limited by the touchscreen readout electronics.