A low-cost innovation, resulting from a teaming agreement between Innovision R&T plc, the electronics solutions provider, and QinetiQ, Europe’s largest science and technology research organisation, enables technology normally associated with sophisticated security applications to be incorporated into a children’s educational product.
The technology – an optical filter and synchronous light detector – identifies the presence of specialist inks in minute dilutions. This, coupled with its low cost now opens up a range of potential applications such as brand protection, anti-counterfeiting and hidden barcodes. The simple detector system uses low voltage, performs well in high levels of ambient light and can be easily incorporated into assembly line production.
In its first application – a highly successful educational game called ‘Contactor’ – the Innovision R&T patented light filter and reader technology enables a model ‘glow-worm’ to react in response to being pointed at specialist inks. The inks – applied lithographically in such low dilutions that they are invisible to the naked eye – reflect light that is emitted and detected by the optical system.
Marketed by Ravensburger, Europe’s largest game and puzzle manufacturer, Contactor is aimed at young children, with the ‘glow-worm’ providing visible and audible feedback to multiple choice questions on brightly coloured quiz sheets.
“Our mission is to bridge the gap between the lab-bench and the commercial market place and the Contactor smart toy success is an early example of how our ongoing alliance with QinetiQ can produce high volume, commercially successful products incorporating novel technologies,” said Marc Borrett, Managing Director of Innovision R&T. “In this instance QinetiQ helped Innovision R&T in the rapid development of a filter suitable for the application and will have a share in the royalties from sales of the product. Having developed this patented synchronous detection technology for the highly cost-conscious toy market, we are now exploring a range of potential applications in other sectors including low-cost security and brand protection. Innovision R&T and QinetiQ continue to work together on exciting new developments, and further announcements are expected in due course.”
“We have applied our extensive optics and materials experience and, in conjunction with Innovision R&T, come up with an innovative step forward that has practical application in a number of sectors, including the lucrative toy market,” explained Kevin Welford a Business Group Manager at QinetiQ. “Being able to draw on the extensive knowledge of over 7000 world class scientists, operating across all major technology disciplines and with access to extensive test and evaluation facilities, ideally places QinetiQ to solve numerous R&D problems for commercial organisations. By also working with first class partners like Innovision R&T, we are able to turn our early stage technologies into low cost solutions with real commercial application.”
About Innovision Research & Technology plc
Founded in 1994 and becoming a public company in 2001, Innovision Research & Technology plc is an electronics technology solutions provider and licensor specialising in the development and transfer of new electronics technologies into viable and profitable applications.
Bridging the gap between the lab bench and the commercial marketplace, Innovision R&T provides a complete turnkey service for R&D partners with new technologies and for end-user clients seeking new technology solutions and business opportunities. Through a flexible approach and a variety of commercial arrangements, the Company aims to ensure rapid technology transfer into effective and marketable solutions.
Innovision Research & Technology plc has its head office in Wokingham, Berkshire, UK. AIM Ticker Symbol: INN
QinetiQ (pronounced ki’ ne tik as in ‘kinetic energy’) is one of Europe’s largest science and technology solutions companies that employs nearly 10,000 staff, including many of the UK's leading scientists and internationally acclaimed experts. Founded from the laboratories of the UK MOD, today QinetiQ operates in markets as diverse as marine, energy, telecommunications, automotive, rail, electronics, defence, space, health, oil & gas, aerospace and information technology. QinetiQ's facilities include indoor and outdoor ranges, wind tunnels, marine testing facilities, automotive test tracks and climatic testing laboratories.
QinetiQ’s heritage covers the pioneering research and development of many household technologies such as liquid crystal displays (LCDs), carbon fibre, the technology for flat panel speakers, infra-red sensors and microwave radar, a life saving foetal heart monitoring system, plus other significant advancements in the areas of healthcare, passenger security and transport.
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