Printechnologics’ Touchcode Receives Top Honors from WSJ



Printechnologics’ Touchcode is one of the largest success stories in the field of printed electronics. Touchcode is an invisible data tag which can be printed on nearly any surface – including paper, carton or foil – and establishes a link between online and offline communications. The technology impressed 3M so much that in October 2010, 3M New Ventures invested in Printechnologics.

In 2011, more than 25 million of Printechnologics’ Touchcode cards were produced, and company founder and CEO Sascha Voigt estimated that Printechnologics would produce more than 100 million this year for major brands ranging from ICON magazine, iSupergol and Nukotoys.

The good news is that Touchcode is now becoming even more mainstream. On Oct. 15, 2012, Touchcode received Gold Winner honors in the prestigious Wall Street Journal’s Technology Innovation Awards. Touchcode also won the “Wireless” category for enabling a seamless connection between off- and online content.

“To be recognized with this award is an extremely high honor of our work and we are very proud receiving the 2012 Technology Innovation Award from the Wall Street Journal,” Voigt said. “For the first time in the entire history of the award, a German company has been awarded as ‘Gold Winner,’ which convinced us that we are on the right track with our technology and point of view regarding the market for printed functionalities and electronics.”

Touchcode has numerous advantages. It can be read by any multi-touch screen device, including smartphones, tablets or information displays. Existing technologies such as RFID, NFC or QR codes need special reading devices or a camera to be detected. Due to its invisibility, Voigt noted that Touchcode is tamper-proof, and can be easily integrated into existing products without changing appearance, and it has other advantages as well.

“Compared to other technologies, Touchcode most notably stands out for its advantages regarding software integration and interactivity,” Voigt said. “Touchcode is the first technology that enables both being integrated into a native and into a web app.

“Since the technology works by a single touch, it can be handled more intuitively, ensuring a high usability. This is supported and enhanced by different options of interactivity Touchcode provides. It can be activated by holding, sliding or rotating it on the screen,” Voigt added.

Touchcode has picked up numerous commercial opportunities in recent months, launching quite a few successful projects.

“Within the last months different projects using Touchcode technology were launched,” Voigt said. “In the past two months, Nukotoys released two trading card games fully based on Touchcode technology in the USA. This was followed by another project carried out with Germany’s most popular soccer magazine, called kicker. The publishing house used Touchcode to combine limited editions of their print issue with exclusively designed online offers.

Voigt noted that upcoming projects will follow later this year as well as in first quarter next year.

“On that framework, we already signed license agreements with top brands in field of gaming as well as with the most important consumer goods companies and working with them on strong, innovative and amazing products to enter the market,” Voigt said. “Even more, Touchcode penetrates step by step different security applications to serve as additional security feature, even on high security levels. These application areas are followed by other powerful projects and products, for example in the field of ticketing. Beside these products, Printechnologics works strongly on developing and improving Touchcode technology as well as extending the system on many products, for example on figurines.”

Voigt said that Printechnologics is continuously improving its technology.

“Since the Touchcode technology has been developed, we are constantly working on further improvements regarding software and hardware to advance the whole system,” he said. “These steps currently result in software that is able to difference between various positions of the printed item on the multi-touch screen device, as well as works much more precisely and stable. While ensuring a high usability and intuitive handling these interactive features – like activating Touchcode by sliding or rotating it on the screen – also extends the field for security features as combinations that enable a high security level.”

Touchcode is printed, and Voigt noted that implementing Touchcode into production is basically easy as Touchcode uses commercial printing processes.

“All the materials and processes involved in the production of Touchcode are physiologically harmless, creating a fully recyclable solution,” Voigt added. “However, it is a further development for printers so they need to be certified and introduced by Printechnologics. After a short time, they are able to print Touchcode by their self.”

Voigt said that interest in Touchcode continues to grow.

“Since Touchcode is market-ready, the interest in the technology is really high,” Voigt said. “Numerous product releases and awards are contributing to increasing interest, as well as different articles proving that the technology is getting more and more attention. In addition to the recognition received by the Wall Street Journal, Printechnologics is nominated as finalist for different awards (Sesames Awards and International Technology Print Award). To set up Touchcode as a new communication standard, we are constantly improving the complete technology as well as introducing Touchcode with global brands to the market.”




Printechnologics' Touchcode is Enjoying Commercial Success

By David Savastano

Touchcode, Printechnologics’ invisible, electronic data tag which can be printed on nearly any surface – including paper, carton or foil – to establish a link between online and offline communications, is one of the most intriguing products in the printed electronics (PE) pipeline.

In order to activate Touchcode’s data, the user needs a touchscreen smartphone or tablet and the app or website that correlates with the printed material. Placing the card on the device’s screen will automatically trigger the device to access and play the content, or validate the authenticity of a ticket or a packaged product. No camera or special reader is required.


Touchcode is indeed versatile. Voigt noted that in the projects mentioned above, Touchcode was used in different ways. For ICON, a Touchcode-imprinted card allowed users to instantly able to enjoy a free issue of the ICON’s digital counterpart, The ICONIST, on their iPads.

“In the case of ICON, Touchcode served as a coupon to get free access to exclusive online contents,” Voigt said. “The Welt Group was impressed by the results, especially the ease of use, which inspired the company to plan already next use cases. One of them will be published in early summer.”

With iSupergol, a leading sticker album for soccer players, fans could instantly access enhanced content about their favorite Israeli players by holding the card to their device’s screen. In conjunction with Nukotoys, Printechnologics has developed a new line of interactive collectible cards, titled Monsterology and Animal Planet: Wildlands, which will be released in the U.S. this summer.

“With iSupergol and Nukotoys, Touchcode enabled a direct connection between traditional trading cards and online stuff like videos, additional information and multiple player options,” Voigt noted. “Within two week, all booster packs of iSupergol were sold out, and the app became no. 1 in the Israel App Store. For Nukotoys, Touchcode is the essential base for the games, enabling digital experiences which were not possible before.”

These are high-profile projects, and Printechnologics is receiving increased interest as a result of its successes.

“The interest in Touchcode has increased enormously within the last six month,”  Voigt said. “Whether the projects are responsible or due to different trading shows is difficult to evaluate. However, it is not so important. More and more newspapers are reporting about the technology, and end users are actively discussing Touchcode in different kind of blogs, forums and even with social media tools like Facebook or Twitter.”

By utilizing conventional offset printing, Printechnologics is able to offer the advantages of RFID at the cost of a QR code.

“Touchcode is the first printed electronic code enabling a seamless connection between printed products and digital contents,” Voigt said. “It is invisible and secure like RFID tags, but offers the low cost of a QR code. Beside these advantages, Touchcode is fully recyclable. Moreover, the production can be completely done with a common printing machine without the use for special materials. Touchcode is simply printed like a fifth color.”

Touchcode continues to earn notice from the PE industry. In 2011, Printechnologics received IDTechEx’s Best Product Development Award for the launch of Touchcode. This year, IDTechEx honored Touchcode with the Best Commercialization Award during Printed Electronics Europe 2012. The award was based on the number of products sold and the generated revenues.


Voigt said that the October 2010 investment by 3M New Ventures in Printechnologics has been beneficial to the company.

“To be successful in developing and commercializing new technologies, strong partnerships are one essential key.,” Voigt said. “So of course, the cooperation with 3M helps us to grow – since 2010 our company size has increased four times. But that is just one key – others like an entrepreneurial culture, a careful communication or a strategy which focuses on the product are at least as important.”

Understandably, Voigt sees great opportunities ahead for Touchcode and Printechnologics.

“For us, inventions like the Touchcode are simply the first step in the evolution of printed electronics, and will lead towards a series of innovations that will change everyday life,” Voigt concluded. “Since Touchcode has been market ready last year, already 25 millions Touchcode were produced. We expect an increase to 100 million this year, and for the next year, a production volume in the billions.

“Printed functionalities like our Touchcode are the first step towards a development which revolutionizes offline and online communications,”  Voigt added. “We expect a further growth for both - us and the market for printed functionalities.” Printechnologics’ Touchcode Receives Top Award from WSJ

By David Savastano

Printechnologics is one of the largest success stories in the field of printed electronics. In 2011, more than 25 million of Printechnologics’ Touchcode cards were produced, and company founder and CEO Sascha Voigt estimated that Printechnologics would produce more than 100 million this year for major brands ranging from ICON magazine, iSupergol and Nukotoys.

The good news is that Touchcode is now becoming even more mainstream. On Oct. 15, 2012, Touchcode received Gold Winner honors in the prestigious Wall Street Journal’s Technology Innovation Awards. Touchcode also won the “Wireless” category for enabling a seamless connection between off- and online content.

“To be recognized with this award is an extremely high honor of our work and we are very proud receiving the 2012 Technology Innovation Award from the Wall Street Journal,” Voigt said. “For the first time in the entire history of the award, a German company has been awarded as ‘Gold Winner,’ which convinced us that we are on the right track with our technology and point of view regarding the market for printed functionalities and electronics.”

Touchcode has numerous advantages. It can be read by any multi-touch screen device, including smartphones, tablets or information displays. Existing technologies such as RFID, NFC or QR codes need special reading devices or a camera to be detected. Due to its invisibility, Voigt noted that Touchcode is tamper-proof, and can be easily integrated into existing products without changing appearance, and it has other advantages as well.

“Compared to other technologies, Touchcode most notably stands out for its advantages regarding software integration and interactivity,” Voigt said. “Touchcode is the first technology that enables both being integrated into a native and into a web app.

“Since the technology works by a single touch, it can be handled more intuitively, ensuring a high usability. This is supported and enhanced by different options of interactivity Touchcode provides. It can be activated by holding, sliding or rotating it on the screen,” Voigt added.

Touchcode has picked up numerous commercial opportunities in recent months, launching quite a few successful projects.

“Within the last months different projects using Touchcode technology were launched,” Voigt said. “In the past two months, Nukotoys released two trading card games fully based on Touchcode technology in the USA. This was followed by another project carried out with Germany’s most popular soccer magazine, called kicker. The publishing house used Touchcode to combine limited editions of their print issue with exclusively designed online offers.

Voigt noted that upcoming projects will follow later this year as well as in first quarter next year.

“On that framework, we already signed licensee agreements with top brands in field of gaming as well as with the most important consumer goods companies and are working with them on strong, innovative and amazing products to enter the market,” Voigt said. “Even more, Touchcode penetrates step by step different security applications to serve as additional security feature, even on high security levels. These application areas are followed by other powerful projects and products, for example in the field of ticketing. Beside these products, Printechnologics works strongly on developing and improving Touchcode technology as well as extending the system on many products, for example on figurines.”

Voigt said that Printechnologics is continuously improving its technology.

“Since the Touchcode technology has been developed, we are constantly working on further improvements regarding software and hardware to advance the whole system,” he said. “These steps currently result in software that is able to difference between various positions of the printed item on the multi-touch screen device, as well as works much more precisely and stable. While ensuring a high usability and intuitive handling these interactive features – like activating Touchcode by sliding or rotating it on the screen – it also extends the field for security features as combinations that enable a high security level.”

Touchcode is printed, and Voigt noted that implementing Touchcode into production is basically easy as Touchcode uses commercial printing processes.

“All the materials and processes involved in the production of Touchcode are physiologically harmless, creating a fully recyclable solution,” Voigt added. “However, it is a further development for printers so they need to be certified and introduced by Printechnologics. After a short time, they are able to print Touchcode by their self.”

Voigt said that interest in Touchcode contiues to grow.

“Since Touchcode is market-ready, the interest in the technology is really high,” Voigt said. “Numerous product releases and awards are contributing to increasing interest, as well as different articles proving that the technology is getting more and more attention. In addition to the recognition received by the Wall Street Journal, Printechnologics is nominated as finalist for different awards (Sesames Awards and International Technology Print Award). To set up Touchcode as a new communication standard, we are constantly improving the complete technology as well as introducing Touchcode with global brands to the market.”