StretchSense emphasized that the application of sensors has already permeated many parts of our everyday lives, whether its in a door sensor at a store or in measuring your heart rate through the new Apple Watch.
StretchSense however aims to take this rapidly emerging wearables market further. To intertwine readily available sensor technology with our daily activities. This way we can get a continuous insight into our own health, our engagement with our environment, our body language, and how we can improve the objects around us.
This is not just about wearables, companies within the medicine, military and, more notably, sport industries have all been increasing the connectivity of their respective products and workflows to the Internet of Things (IoT) and have used this connectivity and awareness to create powerful tools that enable better understanding, better analyses and ultimately better decisions to be made. Sensors fuel this process.
Unlike other widely used sensors that focus on the movement and characteristics of hard objects, soft sensors have been developed with the body, and other ‘soft’ objects, in mind. These style of sensors, commonly viewed as mostly useful for the sports industry, have an incredibly wide range of applications, as they can be placed anywhere on the human body or in our clothes. Because they can be specifically customized products that use soft and stretchy sensors can be designed to fit the way our bodies work, and not the other way around.
The opportunities are limitless, and by thinking outside the box stretch sensors have massive potential to disrupt much more than just the realm of consumer wearables.
StretchSense focuses on sports, healthcare, cars and visual realities.
They aim to give both athletes and coaches a better understanding of body motion, muscle contraction, breathing rates, movement techniques, posture, and risk of injury for each individual. In the healthcare section Stretch Sense aims to offer the possibility of shifting low level care into the home, allowing accurate self-assessment, and ongoing monitoring of patients during home recovery time periods.
Perhaps the most surprising of these industries in this list, the automobile sector already uses sensors. Rather than focusing on the wellbeing of the car, StretchSense cares about the people inside.
Concerning virtual realities, soft sensors can for example make games responsive through the natural movements of a player. By having these sensors working to measure both the output and input from the individual, developers can create situations that seem truly real, and researchers can gather valuable psychological information.
With soft sensing, we can have technology working for us in the background at all times, without us having to think about it. Technology should enhance our life, not distract us from it.