The advanced textiles area on the show floor at IFAI Expo 2016 was not only larger than previous years, it also offered an impressive variety of products and services, including an entire section on testing with demonstrations and other learning opportunities. The testing area was ringed with exhibitors showing products for a range of markets and applications.
StretchSense was among those in the smart fabric sector, showing their wearable motion capture sensors that can measure stretch, pressure, bend, and shear. The Bluetooth-enabled device provides accurate, stable data when stretched repeatedly. The company offers fabric or silicone stretch sensors and a pressure sensor, which can be incorporated into a customer’s end product.
The company says the sensors can be used to make better exoskeletons or prostheses by relaying contact information back to the users so they can “feel” more naturally. It can also be used to quantify comfort in healthcare products to provide “smarter” responses, in car seats for better human-object interaction and in sports garments to better measure body motion. The company offers customization services and can provide sensors as small as a few millimeters up to a ruler length.
StretchSense was founded in 2012 and has since grown to serve over 200 clients in 28 countries. It was a spin-out enterprise from the Biomimetics Lab at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute.