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The Tic-Tac-Toe Game

Stretchable systems for game applications

An early application case for fully functional stretchable electronic systems has been the development and fabrication of a tic-tac-toe game (a.k.a. noughts and crosses) in 2008. The game was fabricated in SCB technology and laminated onto a denim fabric.


The electronic system consists of a micocontroller, capacitve touch sensors and LEDs. All parts of the system are protected by polyurethane, so that the game needs no further housing or encapsulation and is not sensitive to humidity and is functional even when immersed into water.


Since the system is completely encapsulated, a contactless, capacitive sensor for the user interaction was implemented. For each of the eleven touch sensors, a copper pad on the circuit board forms one plate of a capacitor, the encapsulating polyurethane represents the dielectric and the human finger on the surface forms the ground plate. Each copper pad is directly connected to the microcontroller which is used to roughly measure the capacity and to detect a touch event.


In total the system design results in a small number of components and therefore in a mostly flexible, soft and wearable character of the game. When laminated onto fabric the stretchable game adds a Wow! effect and extra fun to everyday clothes.