How does the technology work?

Mobile touchscreen devices are common in consumer electronics. Almost every person in Europe has access to a connected touch device such as a smartphone or tablet. The CAPID project aims to build on this ubiquity. Its aim is to develop a new generation of wireless tags that bring something different and valuable to touchscreen technology. We call these tags C-tokens. They will interact with capacitive touchscreen devices and readers — devices and readers that are able to sense certain objects. The objects — in this case the C-tokens — are thin and flexible, metal-oxide tags that can be integrated in paper and plastic products. The tags will send a dynamic capacitive signal into the reading devices.

What can this technology enable?

CAPID technology makes it possible to identify and locate low-cost and high-volume products, like cards or labels, and connect them to the internet, just by putting a product on a touchscreen. Every C-token tag will have its own ID. A potentially vast number of tags, all of them identifiable, will make it possible to create unique codes for any product. The tags are incredibly thin and more secure than other machine-readable technologies such as QR (quick response code — a type of barcode read by an imaging device) or NFC (near-field communication — common in contactless payment). QR can be copied, while NFC can be read from distance. The technology also has a much smaller footprint than NFC or QR.

C-tokens will be able to detect the exact position of an object. The high-end version of C-tokens will allow two-way communications with touchscreens; this would make the use of photo sensors inside cards feasible.

The result? A touchscreen token that can be placed in a product as thin and flexible as a playing card, that can communicate securely, that can ‘see’ an object, and that can even offer two-way communications. This could enable a wide range of possible applications. The first applications that the CAPID project is examining are board games, ticketing and secure mobile payment.

Who is developing this technology?

The CAPID project brings together a number of players, from the worlds of research, technological innovation and manufacturing. Three of them will be developing the enabling technology for C-token devices. They are: Cartamundi, the world’s leading manufacturer of card and board games; Imec, a research and innovation hub in nano-electronics and digital technologies; and TNO, an independent research organisation. Real life applications will be demonstrated in three concrete product prototypes: board games (through Cartamundi Digital, which creates unique applications for mobile and online usage), ticketing and access control (through Simply-X, an information technology and services company), and mobile payments (through Rebased, which offers programming expertise).

Horizon 2020

The consortium is inspired and supported by the European Horizon 2020 programme, a major EU research and innovation programme, whose aim is to take great ideas from the lab to the market. This project has received funding from Horizon 2020 under grant agreement No 732389.
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First press release
02/03/2017
Press release is sent to agencies all over Europe.
CAPID website
01/03/2017
Launch of the official CAPID website. Time to bring CAPID research to the public.
TNO cleanroom
08/03/2017
CAPID team working with lasers in the TNO cleanroom.
Project on track
15/02/2017
First deliverables have been posted, the project is on track.
CAPID kickoff
24/01/2017
CAPID Kickoff meeting at Cartamundi.
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