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84 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2021 ey use a lot more silver epoxy and thus are more expensive to make than RFID tags. Also, SmartTags are designed to be used multiple times while RFID tags are usually meant for single use. Hence, longevity is important for SmartTags. A tag made with its components soldered will be more reliable and cheaper compared to one made using silver epoxy. Heat management is important for high- power devices. Aluminum is commonly used to build heat sinks. Soldering a high-power device to aluminum would require a plated surface finish like ENIG and ENEPIG. ese add costs and so other means like thermal tape, etc., are used at the cost of performance and life of product. Mina addresses all these issues by enabling direct soldering to aluminum heat sinks. Dunn: Divyakant, thank you so much for talk- ing with me about the Mina process. Working with flexible circuits for many years, it is always exciting to learn about new applications that change the way we look at flex assembly and integration. Kadiwala: ank you, Tara. FLEX007 Tara Dunn is the vice president of marketing and business development for Averatek. To read past columns or contact Dunn, click here. Mina is a simple pretreatment for aluminum that makes it as easy as soldering to copper. A year onwards, COVID-19 is still among us, and restrictions to battle the disease are in place world- wide. As a result, people are expected to keep a safe distance from each other. But when people are not allowed to get close physically, feelings of loneliness and insecurity can arise. Lotte Willems, business devel- opment manager at TNO at Holst Centre, says, "Our connected cud- dle vest with integrated haptic tech- nology gives people the opportu- nity to experience a friend's touch, even in times of social distancing. Fourteen haptic motors positioned around the upper body and arms create vibrotactile patterns that feel like a caress or even a firm hug. The vest is controlled at a safe distance by a phone or tablet, creating a new form of intimacy." The cuddle-vest is designed to showcase the possibilities of haptic feedback over a distance. Lotte says, "At the moment, the most attractive opportunity this vest creates is COVID-safe cud- dling. This can be of great value in, for example, elderly homes where visits are now limited and even staff has to restrict proximity. However, this technology can also be applied in many other fields, such as supporting physical ther- apy, enhancing the gaming experi- ence, helping people with autism to deal with an overload of stimuli; the possibilities are endless." (Source: Holst Centre) TNO at Holst Centre Develops Cuddle Vest Lotte demonstrating the cuddle vest at Editie NL, a Dutch news show.

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