ELECTRONIC CIRCUITS FOR PRODUCT PACKAGING AND GAME PIECES
Product packages and methods of making same, and unpowered conductive circuits for use, for example, as game pieces and methods of making the same. The product package includes a paperboard blank configured to be formed into a box. An electrical circuit is printed with conductive ink pattern onto a surface of the blank. A user may interact with the electrical circuit by, for example, pressing tabs cut into the box. The tabs may include conductive contacts that activate sections of the electrical circuit, thereby producing one or more desirable effects in response to various combinations of tabs being pressed by the user. The electrical circuit may be powered by a battery inserted into a battery compartment of the product package. The blank may include a removable section with a printed electrical circuit, or a portion thereof, that may be separated from the blank and used separately from the product package.
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The present application claims the benefit of Provisional Application No. 61/822,613, filed May 13, 2013, and Provisional Application No. 61/753,253, filed Jan. 16, 2013, which are each hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.BACKGROUND
The invention relates generally to packaging for consumer products that incorporates electrical circuitry and, more particularly, to paperboard boxes that include electrical circuitry that is integrated with the box, and methods of making the same, as well as unpowered conductive circuits for use, for example, as game pieces and methods of making the same.
Point-of-sale product marketing is a highly competitive process. When shopping for consumer goods in a retail environment, consumers often make choices based largely on the appearance of the product packaging. Customers of commodities, such as breakfast cereals, tend to be especially receptive to being influenced by product packaging. In particular, children may be attracted to products that are packaged in interesting ways, or that include a stimulating toy or prize, and may attempt to persuade their parents to buy the product based primarily on the appearance of the product package or the inclusion of the toy in the product package. Consequently, there is a need for cost-effective, new, and improved product packages that entice customers to buy the product, and methods for making these cost-effective, new, and improved product packages.SUMMARY
In one embodiment, a product package includes a paperboard blank having a surface and a conductive ink pattern printed on the surface of the paperboard blank. The blank is configured to define the product package (e.g., upon uprighting or erecting). The conductive ink pattern defines at least part of an electrical circuit that is integrated with the product package.
In another embodiment, a method of making a product package includes printing a conductive pattern on a surface of a paperboard blank. The conductive ink pattern defines at least part of an electrical circuit that is integrated with the product package.
The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate various embodiments of the invention and, together with the general description of the invention given above, and the detailed description of the embodiments given below, serve to explain the principles of the invention.
Embodiments of the invention are directed primarily to product packaging that incorporates printed electrical circuitry applied to one or more interior or exterior surfaces of the package. The printed electrical circuitry may be configured to provide the consumer with a variety of applications, such as a game or other sensory stimulating apparatus. To this end, applications provided by embodiments of the invention may provide a plurality of sensory stimulations, such as light and sound.
For example, the product package may be a cereal box configured to provide an interactive game or other electronic entertainment once the goods have been removed from the product package. The product package may also be configured so that the electrical circuit draws attention to the product or otherwise enhances the appeal of the product when displayed in a retail environment. To this end, embodiments of the invention may include a variety of printed electrical circuits and electrical components, including lines, switches, and terminals. These circuits may be operatively coupled with light-emitting diodes, power sources, programmable chips, audio transducers, and electronic displays to provide a desired application or effect. Power sources may include an internal power source (e.g., a battery integrated into the product package) or an external power source (e.g., an alkaline battery that is coupled to the product package externally and/or provided by the user).
The printed electrical circuitry may be printed either directly on a surface of the product package, or on a secondary carrier substrate, such as a flexible film, that can then be attached to the product package. The inks used to print the circuitry may include any suitable printable material, such as metallic (e.g., silver) ink, conductive carbon ink, silver chloride ink, or any other suitable ink. In addition, dielectric ink, such as an acrylic, may be deposited over a lower layer of conductive ink so that another layer of conductive ink may be deposited over the lower conductive ink layer to form electrical circuits having multiple layers. Additional dielectric layers may be printed between the conductive layers to increase the isolation between the conductive layers. These additional dielectric layers may include layers having dissimilar materials. The conductive ink may be printed on the product package material using a conventional printing technique, such as screen print, flexo, gravure, photo-pattern, pad printing, and jet printing to form traces and other components of the printed electrical circuitry. Carriers for the ink (known as film formers) may be based on acrylics, urethanes, water, latex, and/or any other suitable carrier.
The ink may typically comprise carbon in a water-based carrier so that the resulting product satisfies the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG) model legislation regarding allowable levels of heavy metals in solid municipal waste. These materials may also prevent contamination of food products contained in the product package, and may contribute to bio-degradable and/or recyclable features of the package. The application of sustainable environmental stewardship in the recyclability of the package and printed circuits sharply contrasts with normal printed circuits that include metallic content.
After the traces defining the electrical circuit are printed on a blank comprised of a packaging material, the blank may be cut to define openings for discrete electronic components, e.g., light emitting diodes (LEDs), battery contact pads, or other features of the desired application. The discrete electronic components may be coupled to the traces using a suitable conductive material, such as a conductive tape (e.g., copper tape) or a conductive adhesive (e.g., a conductive epoxy). In an embodiment of the invention, holes may be cut in the packaging material so that the product package is configured to receive LEDs, which may be coupled to traces printed on an interior surface of the product package. The openings may allow the LEDs to be visible from outside of the product package. In an alternative embodiment, the LEDs may be attached to an outside surface of the package, in which case the holes for the LEDs may be omitted. The packaging material may also be cut to define a receptacle configured to receive a battery, such as a 9-volt battery, for powering the electrical circuitry. Further cuts may define detachable game components configured to interact with a game board portion of the box, or other external devices such as a touch screen of a tablet computer or smart phone. Embodiments of the invention may also include other electrical circuits, such as a processor, that are coupled to the traces. These additional circuits may be coupled to the interior surface of the product package so that they are not visible from the exterior of the product package. Embodiments of the invention may thereby bring added value in a post-use application to consumer product package at a reasonable cost.
Referring now to
The embodiments of the invention are not limited to the “rock-paper-scissors” game 10. Generally, other types of multi-player or single player games may be provided by the inventive product packaging and printed electrical circuitry. The games may possess educational value appropriate for a self-guided teaching session, may be geared toward amusement purposes, or a combination of these objectives.
To play the game, one player (player “A”) activates one of switches 32-34, and another player (player “B”) activates one of switches 35-37. If both players activate switches representing the same type of object, a circuit is not completed through either of the LEDs 38, 40, and neither of the LEDs is illuminated (or optionally both LEDs 38, 40 can be simultaneously illuminated). If player A activates switch 32 (scissors) and player B activates switch 35 (paper), a circuit is completed that couples LED 38 to power source 42. In response to being connected to power source 42, LED 38 illuminates, indicating player A is the winner. If player A activates switch 32 (scissors) and player B activates switch 36 (rock), a circuit is completed that couples LED 40 to power source 42. In response to being connected to power source 42, LED 40 illuminates, indicating player B is the winner. In a similar manner, if player A activates switch 33 (paper) and player B activates switch 36 (rock), LED 38 illuminates indicating player A is the winner. If player A activates switch 33 (paper) and player B activates switch 37 (scissors), LED 40 is illuminated indicating player B is the winner. If player A activates switch 34 (rock) and player B activates switch 37 (scissors), LED 38 is illuminated indicating player A is the winner. Finally, if player A activates switch 34 (rock) and player B activates switch 35 (paper), LED 40 is illuminated indicating player B is the winner.
LEDs 38, 40 represent one type of discrete electronic component that can be integrated into the circuit 30. Other types of discrete electronic components, such as sound chips and memory chips, may also be integrated into the circuit 30. The discrete electronic components may be coupled to the traces using a suitable conductive material, such as a conductive tape (e.g., copper tape) or a conductive adhesive (e.g., a conductive epoxy). Alternatively, the electronic component may be mounted to a thin, flexible board (e.g., an FR-4 printed circuit board), which includes conductive material (e.g., amounts of the conductive ink) applied at the contact points with the traces of the circuit 30. The board (and the attached electronic component) may be positioned in a pick-and-place operation, and then the board may be adhesively bonded (e.g., tacked) to the paperboard blank using, for example, a hot melt adhesive.
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The conductive ink pattern 58 may be printed the front side of the blank 50, the back side of the blank 50, or both sides of the blank 50. The conductive ink pattern 58 may appear on the inside of the package, the outside of the package, or on both sides of the package after the blank 50 is uprighted or erected to form the package.
The width W, length L, and thickness T of the traces 62 may be controlled by adjusting the amount of ink, and the pattern in which the ink is applied to the surface 51. By adjusting the dimensions of the traces 62, the resistances of the circuit 30 may be controlled. In one embodiment, the resistor 44 of circuit 30 may be provided by the resistance of the traces 62 so that the need for a discrete electrical component is negated. In addition, the width W and/or thickness T of each trace 62 may be adjusted independently of the other to balance resistances between different sections of the conductive ink pattern 58 and/or to compensate for varying lengths L of the traces 62. The trace thickness may be measured relative to the plane of the surface 51 on which the traces 62 are printed.
The fold lines 52 and cut lines 54 may be configured so that the blank 50 can be formed into a box suitable for containing a consumer product, such as a breakfast cereal. Additional fold lines 52 and cut lines 54 may also be included in the blank 50 to define features of the product package that facilitate operation of the circuit 30. For example, the fold lines 52 and cut lines 54 may be configured in a pattern 67 configured to define a battery cavity or compartment 204 (
The carton formed from the blank 50 defines a three-dimensional platform characterized by a height, a width, and a depth with folding about the scores (e.g., fold lines 52) for erection/set-up. On the platform, a myriad of end-use applications are achievable through design and placement of a customized circuit configuration.
The integrity of the printed circuit defined by the conductive ink pattern 58 may be maintained regardless of whether the surface 51 is the back side (which is porous) of the substrate selected as the blank 50 or the top side of the selected substrate (which may be less porous than the backside) when the printed circuit is flexed over structural score lines 52. The ability to maintain the integrity may depend, among other factors, upon the width-to-thickness aspect ratio of the traces 62.
It has been observed that, if the thickness T of the traces 62 is greater than a few microns, the traces 62 tend to fracture (i.e., crack) and/or flake off in areas where the traces 62 cross score or fold lines 52 when the blank 50 is folded (e.g., folding by 90° at the fold line 52). It has also been determined that traces 62 having an insufficient thickness T tend to be unreliable conductors when printed on interior surfaces of paperboard blanks 50. This unreliability may be due, at least in part, to the roughness of the interior surfaces of the paperboard blanks 50 typically used in product packaging. These conflicting requirements for fabricating traces 62 with conductive ink have discouraged persons having ordinary skill in the art of package engineering from using conductive ink to form circuits on cardboard blanks. However, it has been discovered that by increasing the width W of the traces 62 so that the traces have a large width-to-thickness aspect ratio, printed conductive ink traces may be formed that provide reliable circuits on interior surfaces of folded cardboard blanks 50. The resistance of the traces is proportional to the length, width and height of the traces 62, in addition to the resistivity of the material comprising the conductive ink. Depending on the appropriate print technique and circuit configuration different dimensioning specifications are applied. For example, in an embodiment of the invention, a gravure plate may have an etch effect described as BCM (billion cubic microns) and, in this application, may reach a 100 Billion Cubic Microns (BCM) of ink per cm2 in the gravure pattern in combination with a trace width W of between 0.375 and 0.750 inches. In another embodiment of the invention, rotogravure printing may use a 60 Lines per Inch (LPI) screen and a volume application for the conductive ink of 60 Billion Cubic Micron (BCM) to provide a sheet resistance value of about 100 ohms per square. Circuit resistors, such as resistor 44, may be integrated into the conductive ink pattern 58 by adjusting the width (i.e., the resistance) of the traces 62.
Moreover, by adjusting the width of the traces 62, the resistance of the traces 62 may be adjusted to a desired level, and circuit resistances may be balanced while maintaining an optimum trace thickness T to resist cracking. The LEDs 38, 40 may thereby be illuminated equally (i.e., nominally equal intensities of output visible light) by the circuit 30 regardless of the collective length of the traces 62 that are coupling the LEDs 38, 40 to the power source 42. In certain circuit configurations, circuit design requires the application of “Sheet Resistivity” (ohms per square) calculations to create matching resistance levels in balancing luminosity between the mutually-illuminated LEDs 38, 40. As an example, if a circuit is interacting with a device such as a LED, a two (2) volt forward voltage and rated at 20 mA and powered in a circuit with a nine (9) volt battery, the circuit must provide a performance of no more than 350 ohms as provided by the thickness and width of the conductive material in the traces 62 from a printing application.
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Through the printing of conductive ink patterns 58, 68 and/or the dielectric patterns 64, 80, circuits may be created of non-connected, connected, and circuit-over-circuit configurations. The conductive ink pattern 58 and the dielectric pattern 64 may be comprised of non-metallic materials. The development of printing techniques and the use of conductive non-metallic material facilitates the successful creation of the circuit 30 on either side of the folding carton material, which may be coated or uncoated, as well as crossing through folding or scoring lines for box or carton erection/set up. In particular, the printing techniques and the use of conductive non-metallic material in the embodiments disclosed herein promote the printing of the circuit 30 on the uncoated backside of uncoated paperboard, which is porous.
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The projections 112 may be configured to define the gap 108 as including a plurality of interconnected linear segments, as shown in
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The blank 330 may also include a section 342 defined by one or more cut lines 54. The section 342 may include a contact pad 344, and may be configured to be punched out of the product package by the user and assembled into a game stylus. The game stylus may be used to activate a selected switch by pressing the contact pad 344 against the contact pads 340 comprising one of the switches 314-327 so that the contact pad 344 of the stylus bridges the gap 338 separating the selected contact pads 340. The user may thereby selectively activate one of the switches 314-327. The stylus acts as a switch device by closing certain circuit points, thus illuminating LED's, or powering additional add-on devices.
The blank 330 may also include a section 346 having a plurality of contact pads 348-352 electrically coupled through one or more traces 354. The section 346 may also be defined by one or more cut lines 54. The section 346 may be in a portion of the blank 330 that is separate from the portion used to form the product package, and may be removed prior to forming the product package for inclusion inside the product package as a toy or prize. As best shown in
When folded along the fold lines 52, the side portions 358, 360 may form a gripping portion 362 of the game piece 357 that extends from the bottom portion 356 so that the contact pads 349-351 of bottom portion 356 are on an outer surface of the game piece 357. One or more of the traces 354 may be located along the length of the fold lines 52 to provide robust coupling (i.e., coupling that is resistant to damage caused by folding) between the traces 356 on the bottom portion 356 of game piece 357 and the traces 356 on the side portions 358, 360 of game piece 357. The game piece 357 may be further configured so that the contact pads 346, 352 of side portions 358, 360 face outward. The game piece 357 may thereby be configured so that when the user grips the gripping portion 362 of game piece 357, the user's fingers are in contact with contact pads 346, 352. The user may thereby be electrically coupled to the contact pads 349-351 on the bottom portion 356 of game piece 357 so that the touch screen may sense a change in electrical loading of areas of the touch screen that come into contact with the contact pads 349-351.
The contact pads 349-351 may be configured to form a unique footprint that is recognized by an application running on the touch sensitive device, such as a game running on a tablet computer. Generally, games can be purchased or downloaded for free directly onto a touch sensitive device, such as a mobile computing device, from an online application store, commonly known as an “app store” or “app market”. The use of game pieces with touch sensitive devices is described in detail in U.S. Application Publication No 2012/0007808, entitled “GAME PIECES FOR USE WITH TOUCH SCREEN DEVICES AND RELATED METHODS”, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
The number, size, shape, and positions of the contact pads 349-351 of game piece 357 may be varied from one product package to another so that multiple such different structurally-created game pieces may be defined that are each individually recognizable by the application. In operation, the user may grip the gripping portion 362 of game piece 357, and press the bottom portion 356 against the touch screen. In response, the application may sense a change in capacitance, impedance, or loading in regions of the touch screen that are in contact with the contact pads 349-351. The application may then provide a response to the user based on the configuration of the contact pads 349-351. For example, the application may display a particular image or cartoon character based on the sensed configuration of the contact pads 349-351, or may take the user to a specific portion of a game.
With reference to
Each of the contact pads 349-351 includes a surface 349c-351c that is a plane parallel to the plane of the surface 330a of the blank 330 and an inclined connecting surface 349b-351b. The surfaces 349a-351a and 349b-351b of the contact pads 349-251 reflect the contour of the bosses formed in the underlying and supporting material of the blank 330. For example, the surfaces 349a, 349b reproduce the contour of the surfaces 347a, 347b of a boss 347 impressed by an embossing die in the blank 330 at the location of the contact pad 349. The embossing die includes a protruding feature that applies pressure to the board 330 at the location of the boss 347. The board 300 plastically deforms to form the boss 347 when pressure is applied by the embossing die. Only a portion of the contact pad 349 is embossed (i.e., displaced from the plane of the board 330 by the boss 347) such that, for example, the conductive material of the contact pad 349 is present on each of the surfaces 347a, 347b, and 330a, as well as on surfaces 349a-351a.
Characteristics of the boss 347, such as the included angle, θ, of the surface 347b relative to a bottom surface 330b of the blank 330, the height of the surface 347a relative to the top surface 330a of the blank 330, dimensions or area of the surface 347a (e.g., diameter if the surfaces 347a is round), and the relative size of the contact pad 349 to the surface 347a, may be selected to avoid fracturing the continuity of the circuit by cracking the conductive material of the contact pad 349. In one embodiment, the surface 347b may be characterized by an included angle, θ, of 30° and the surface 347a may be flat or planar.
In one embodiment, the height of the top surface 347a at the boss 347 relative to the top surface 330a is less than or equal to about 80% of the thickness, t, of the blank 330. Limiting the height of the top surface 347a (i.e., the depth of the boss 347) to this extent may reduce the risk of fracturing the conductive material comprising the contact pad 347. In another embodiment, the height of the top surface 347a relative to surface 330a is less than or equal to the thickness, t, of the blank 330. Limiting the level of the relief to this extent may reduce the risk of fracturing the board comprising the blank 330 in addition to fracturing the conductive material comprising the contact pad 347. In yet another embodiment, the height of the top surface 347a at the boss 347 relative to the top surface 330a is less than or equal to about 80% of the thickness, t, of the blank 330 and greater than or equal to about 45% of the thickness, t, of the blank 330. Limiting the lower limit on the height of the top surface 347a may provide a threshold for preventing the surface 347c and the traces 354 from contacting the surface of the screen of the touch sensitive device 355.
The contact surfaces 350a and 351a are formed by bosses similar or identical to boss 347 and, in each instance, each of the contact pads 350, 351 is only partially embossed similar to contact pad 349. The selection of the relative size of the contact pads 349-351 to the dimensions of their bosses may be used to account for inaccuracies in feature registration during the printing and embossing processes. As the size of the contact pads 349-351 increases, the level of embossing can be increased. Nearby score or fold lines 52 may be debossed into the section 346 of the blank 330 due to their proximity to the contact pads 349-351.
Referring now to
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The circuits of the various embodiments of the invention may be printed directly on the package and, as a consequence, is not laminated or inserted. In one embodiment, the circuit may be printed on the backside of the package, which is the side opposite to the frontside that is typically displayed on a product shelf. The circuit may be comprised of materials that conform to CONEG regulations for landfill that are intended to reduce the sum concentration levels of incidentally-introduced heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium, present in package or packaging components. The circuit may be a multi-level construction formed by overprinting the discrete functional layers over one another. The circuit may be comprised dielectric (insulating) layers between adjacent conductive layers of the circuit. The circuit may be comprised of alternating layers of chemical formulations to achieve dielectric (insulating) effectiveness and qualities. The package may include a battery compartment, which may be accessible to a consumer from the exterior of the package for inserting a battery (e.g., a nine-volt battery) to functionally energize the circuit for operation. The package may include a plurality of integrated switch gates printed directly on the package, which are printed directly on the backside of the package in one embodiment.
The circuit may be printed by a rotogravure print process, which involves engraving an image of a level of the circuit pattern onto an image carrier, such as a cylinder, and using a rotary printing press to print the circuit. Cylinder engravings are known as an abnormal configuration for direct print in packaging applications. A different engraving configuration may be used for each circuit level printed with the rotogravure print process. The engravings may include cross-hatched (i.e., intersecting) channels for carrying ink. This is in contrast to conventional intaglio printing, which includes isolated incisions into the surface of the image carrier.
The circuit design may incorporate a specific line width and ink film deposits sufficient to cause a light emitting diode to emit light of a given brightness without the utilization of an in-line resistor. The on-package printed circuit may be operational within itself (i.e., self-contained) in that no external input is required to, for example, play the game embodied in the circuit or to otherwise utilize the package.
The circuit may be printed from roll form to sheet. The package may be die cut and/or scored with scoring (i.e., score lines) going through or across the multiple circuits without rendering the circuits inoperative. The package may be first printed on the backside of a paperboard substrate, and then inverted and re-printed on the coated/top side of the substrate.
The package is multi-use in that not only is the actual product protected, but a secondary use is achieved in providing additional consumer value, such as a functional game or an enhanced visual presence, for amusement and/or education. Because of the addition of the circuit, the package may be offered to consumers as an incentive to buy a particular foodstuff contained inside the package, such as breakfast cereal. The package may be offered as an in-store or point-of-sale prize that is immediately received by the customer with the purchase of the foodstuff, and with no apparent increase in the price of the foodstuff. Moreover, because the amusing/educational features are part of the package, the package may continue to circulate after the product has been consumed so that persons other than the original purchaser may be exposed to product marketing included on the package.
The integrity of the printed circuit may be maintained when printed on either the backside (porous interior) of the selected substrate or the top side of the selected substrate (which may be less porous than the backside), and flexed over structural score lines. Circuits may be bent at 90 degrees or more crossing over score lines singularly or multiple times in “X”, “Y” and “Z” coordinate directions, and the bending may be achieved without loss of conductivity.
The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting of the invention. As used herein, the singular forms “a”, “an” and “the” are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms “comprises” and/or “comprising,” when used in this specification, specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof. Moreover, references herein to terms such as “vertical”, “horizontal”, etc. are made by way of example, and not by way of limitation, to establish an absolute frame of reference.
It will be understood that when an element is described as being “connected” or “coupled” to or with another element, it can be directly connected or coupled to the other element or, instead, one or more intervening elements may be present. In contrast, when an element is described as being “directly connected” or “directly coupled” to another element, there are no intervening elements present. When an element is described as being “indirectly connected” or “indirectly coupled” to another element, there is at least one intervening element present.
As used herein, the term “in response to” means “in reaction to” and/or “after” a first event. Thus, a second event occurring “in response to” a first event may occur immediately after the first event, or may include a time lag that occurs between the first event and the second event. In addition, the second event may be caused by the first event, or may merely occur after the first event without any causal connection.
While the invention has been illustrated by the description of one or more embodiments thereof, and while the embodiments have been described in considerable detail, they are not intended to restrict or in any way limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications will readily appear to those skilled in the art. The invention in its broader aspects is therefore not limited to the specific details, representative apparatus and methods and illustrative examples shown and described. Accordingly, departures may be made from such details without departing from the scope or spirit of Applicant's general inventive concept.
1. A product package comprising:
- a paperboard blank including a first surface, the paperboard blank being configured to define the product package; and
- a first conductive ink pattern printed on the first surface of the paperboard blank, the first conductive ink pattern defining at least part of an electrical circuit integrated with the product package.
2. The product package of claim 1 wherein the paperboard blank is configured so that the first surface forms an interior surface or an exterior surface of the product package.
3. The product package of claim 1 further comprising:
- a dielectric pattern applied to the first surface of the paperboard blank; and
- a second conductive ink pattern printed on the first surface of the paperboard blank,
- wherein the dielectric pattern electrically isolates a portion of the first conductive ink pattern from a portion of the second conductive ink pattern.
4. The product package of claim 1 further comprising:
- an electronic component coupled to the conductive ink pattern.
5. The product package of claim 1 wherein the first ink pattern includes a first contact pad, a second contact pad separated by a gap from the first contact pad, and a third contact pad configured to selectively couple the first and second contact pads in response to being pressed into contact with the first and second contact pads.
6. The product package of claim 5 wherein the paperboard blank includes a cut line and a fold line configured to define a tab, the tab including the third contact pad and being located so that the third contact pad is pressed into contact with the first and second contact pads in response to the tab being folded along the fold line.
7. The product package of claim 5 wherein gap has a length, the first contact pad has a width and includes a first projection, the second contact pad has a width and includes a second projection, and the projections are configured to define the gap so that the length of the gap exceeds the width of the first contact pad and the width of the second contact pad.
8. The product package of claim 7 wherein the first projection is one of a first plurality of projections, the second projection is one of a second plurality of projections, and the first and second pluralities of projections are configured to define the gap so that the gap has a winding characteristic.
9. The product package of claim 1 wherein the paperboard blank includes a plurality of cut lines and a plurality of fold lines configured to define a battery compartment, the battery compartment including a chock defined by a section of the paperboard blank defined by two non-intersecting cut lines and three non-intersecting fold lines.
10. The product package of claim 9 wherein the fold lines defining the chock are intersected by the cut lines defining the chock.
11. The product package of claim 1 wherein the electrical circuit is printed on a section of the paperboard blank defined by one or more cut lines so that the section is removable from the paperboard blank, the conductive ink pattern includes a first set of one or more contact pads, and the first set of contact pads include a shape, a number, or an arrangement that is recognizable by a touch sensitive device.
12. The product package of claim 11 wherein the section of paperboard blank is configured to be formed into a game piece.
13. The product package of claim 12 wherein the electrical circuit includes a second set of one or more contact pads configured to electrically couple the first set of one or more contact pads to a user holding the game piece.
14. The product package of claim 12 wherein the game piece is configured to be used with an application executing on the touch sensitive device and visible on a screen of the touch sensitive device.
15. The product package of claim 11 wherein the paperboard blank includes a boss at the location of each contact pad, and a portion of each contact pad is raised by the boss to define a contact surface.
16. The product package of claim 1 wherein the paperboard blank includes a score line, the printed circuit includes a trace crossing the score line and having a width-to-thickness aspect ratio,
- wherein the width-to-thickness aspect ratio is selected so that a conductive ink comprising the first conductive ink pattern does not fracture maintained when flexed by bending of the paperboard blank at the score line.
17. A method of making a product package including an integrated electrical circuit, the method comprising:
- printing a conductive pattern on a first surface of a paperboard blank, the first conductive ink pattern defining at least part of an electrical circuit integrated with the product package.
18. The method of claim 17 further comprising:
- applying a dielectric pattern applied to the first surface of the paperboard blank; and
- printing a second conductive ink pattern on the first surface of the paperboard blank,
- wherein the dielectric pattern electrically isolates a portion of the first conductive ink pattern from a portion of the second conductive ink pattern.
19. The method of claim 17 further comprising:
- coupling an electronic component to the conductive ink pattern.
20. The method of claim 17 wherein the conductive ink pattern includes one or more contact pads, and the contact pads include a shape, a number, or an arrangement that is recognizable by a touch sensitive device.
Filed: Jan 15, 2014
Publication Date: Jul 17, 2014
Applicant: The C.W. Zumbiel Company (Hebron, KY)
Inventors: Steven J. Block (Amelia, OH), Alexander M. Kronk (Plain City, OH), Brian W. McKee (Columbus, OH), Ryan Ramer (Loveland, OH), Joseph P. Yock (Cincinnati, OH)
Application Number: 14/155,503