What are stretch sensors?
StretchSense sensors are like smart rubber bands. They are flexible capacitors which are soft, stretchy and can easily be embedded into clothing or devices.
Stretch sensors measure how their geometry deforms as a measure of electrical capacitance. When they are attached correctly to a soft body of material, such as clothing or on a person’s body, the sensors provide precise information about how that object or person’s body is moving through the sensor’s geometry changes.
What can stretch sensors measure?
By understanding a stretch sensor’s deformation, our customers are able to measure human body extension, bending, pressure and shear forces. This allows athletes to receive feedback on technique, consumers to interact in new ways with augmented reality devices and for healthcare providers to track the recovery of their patients.
What is the price of sensors if I want to purchase in volume?
Stretch sensors are made of low cost materials so customers can enjoy economies of scale at mass production. We have 3 categories of production that signal large jumps in sensor price for our customers – labour-based, machine-based and commodity production. These categories occur at different volumes based on the specification and quantity.
What is the difference between your fabric and silicone sensor products?
Both our silicone and fabric sensors are suitable for a wide range of applications, but each sensor type is particularly suited for certain applications.
Our silicone sensors are useful for medical applications where they need to be pressed up against the skin, or in applications where they are adhered directly to or integrated into rubber-like materials. Our fabric sensors are ideal for wearable applications where the sensors are sewn into garments.
What are the dimensions of a stretch sensor?
Our sensor dimensions for our standard silicone and fabric sensors can be found in our Aricles & Resources section:
The silicone sensor has a 78mm x 16.5mm active zone.
The fabric sensor has a 90mm x 10mm active zone surrounded by a 2mm sewable dead zone.
We can create almost any geometry of sensor through a custom project. General guidelines are between a few millimetres and A4 size.
What is shielding? Why is it useful?
StretchSense develops shielded silicone and fabric sensor evaluation kits for customers to use in prototyping. Shielded sensors have a ground layer on the top and bottom of the sensor so that the signal layer in the middle is resilient to electrical noise. Shielded sensors are highly recommended for any application that requires the sensor to be close to the human body. The shielding reduces the effect of electrical fields emanating from the human body on the accuracy of the sensor data.
Why have the silicone sensors changed?
Our new silicone sensors are almost 3 times stretchier, and also include a flexible PCB. Aside from this, they support coaxial cable integration with our circuit.
What are the development kits for?
Our development kits are for R&D engineers and Product Developers to discover new ways of utilizing our stretch sensing technology for smart clothing, sports, and VR/AR applications. The kits contain lots of sensors to enable rapid prototyping. Your design teams will have plenty of sensors to play with. Twist them, stretch them, have fun! Get creative!
Why do I need a large number of sensors?
We don't want your prototyping to be limited by the number of sensors included in the kit. Having more sensors offer more room for experimentation. You have the freedom to apply sensors to more than one project and share them with team members.
What is the Enterprise Kit and how much does it cost?
The Enterprise Kit is a large box of sensors ideal for companies that require a larger number of sensors for prototyping and evaluation of multiple sensor modes. We tailor the types and quantity of sensors in the Enterprise Kit to suit our customers depending on their specific industry. Accordingly, the price will vary depending on the contents of each Enterprise Kit.
What is StretchSPORT?
StretchSPORT is a development kit containing silicone and fabric stretch sensors. Stretch sensors are easy to integrate into clothing making this an ideal kit for building applications in fitness wearables.
What is the StretchVR kit?
Our Stretch VR kit comes with ten silicone sensors, five for each hand. Perfect for engineers in VR, entertainment, and gaming who want to development hand motion capture prototypes.
What is the StretchHEALTH kit?
Our StretchHEALTH kit is a versatile kit for developing health wearable applications. It is the only kit that contains our soft compression sensors for measuring body-object interfaces.
What is the EHK?
Our Energy Harvesting Kit (EHK) produces energy through the conversion of mechanical energy to electrical energy. This is a proof of principle prototype to begin developing energy harvesting products for wearables.
What is a circuit channel?
Typically one sensor occupies its own channel. Our Fabric Sensor Kit is connected to a 1-channel Bluetooth circuit whereas our StretchSPORT, StretchHEALTH and StretchVR come with a 10-channel SPI sensing circuit.
We also offer a Bluetooth adapter which allows our 10-channel SPI sensing circuit to connect via Bluetooth LE to a mobile device.
Can I connect multiple Bluetooth circuits to the same device?
Yes, this is dependent on the device specs and Bluetooth platform used.
Can I use your sensing circuitry with Arduino?
Yes, we can output our sensor values as a string from our circuit to your Arduino board, using serial or wireless interfaces such as USART or Bluetooth.
Can I make my own sensor interrogation circuitry to use your sensors?
We advise using StretchSense circuitry to get the best results and save on development time. There are a number of software and electronics challenges associated with sensor interpretation. Our software team have solved these issues and are continuing to upgrade our sensor interrogation methods.
How can I visualise sensing data in real-time on my computer?
Using the record function on our Data Capture Android App, you can save data on your mobile phone and later transfer it to your computer.
To visualise sensing data on a computer, we provide labview.vi software.
Can I make my own electronics?
We advise integrating StretchSense circuitry into your own electronics to get the best results and save on development time.
Why are you supplying the 10-channel circuit with the kit?
Each 10-channel circuit allows you to connect up to ten sensors at a time. Our 10-channel circuits turn the raw analogue signal from the sensors into digital data you can use.
What customisation work does StretchSense do?
We make complete sensing systems that are ready to be integrated into our customers’ products. We make the sensors, connections, circuitry and data capture software and are able to customise in each of those of areas.
What is the best way to work with StretchSense?
We aim to ensure our customers have the smoothest journey from discovery of sensing technology, product prototyping and mass production. A great starting place is to try one of our evaluation kits which are designed to be generic sensor kits for engineers and product developers to start testing with.
I’ve tried the development kits, and I have an application I want to proceed with. What do I do next?
Get in touch with your sales rep or drop us a line at email@example.com. We'll talk you through the product development stages as well as how we manage client information. We understand how important your ideas are and we have strict policies in place to keep them safe.
What industries are currently using StretchSense?
Our customer base spans a diverse range of industries. Some examples include wearables, sports and fitness, VR/AR, healthcare, rehabilitation, robotics, automotive, aerospace, fashion, music, movies and gaming.
Our customers use our sensors to measure body motion, the interactions between humans and devices, and to measure subtle changes in soft industrial objects.
My application requires regulation, how can I ensure that the sensors meet my regulation expectations?
Our sensors are used in a broad range of applications and industries. Please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org with your specific regulation requirements.
What industries/applications is the wearable stretch sensor suitable for?
The Wearable Stretch Sensor is optimized for use in smart garment industries such as sports and fitness. They can be used to visualise body motion through measuring changes such as joint angle or chest expansion.