There's little argument that we live in a data-driven world, and developing products to capture body motion data is a new frontier in the rapidly growing wearable sector.
Based in Auckland, New Zealand, StretchSense Ltd. is on the front lines of this growth, manufacturing capacitive stretch sensing systems that provide real-time insight on the movement and form of our bodies. The speed at which the industry is moving means development of new-generation products must be accelerated, with rapid prototyping becoming a huge asset for companies looking to make their mark.
Iterative development of a new product used to take months or years. With StretchSense methodology, however, it's possible to take an idea to functioning prototype in a matter of days, with a development model that offers a large amount of customization and flexibility.
It's all very well to pay lip service to rapid prototyping; the real test is putting it into practice. Understanding this, StretchSense took an internal idea — a motion-capture glove — from a roughly sketched design through to a working sensing system ready for larger-scale manufacturing in just 21 days. Using the method outlined in the project, customers can develop their own sensing system for a smart garment — for industries including VR, sports, fitness and health care — faster than ever before.
A large part of what makes this speed possible is collaboration. The StretchSense team works closely with customers throughout every stage of the process, starting with a thorough discussion on what the concept is for, feature requirements, and the current state of the project. Whether a 3D design already exists, or is simply a vague idea in a creative developer's head, this initial consultation period fleshes the idea out to a point where production is ready to begin.
Once the motion-capture glove concept is solidified, the Product Development team at StretchSense goes to work. In a typical situation, after just one week a reference design is prepared, upon which the sensing system is produced. Having sensors, cabling and circuits all integrated directly into the fabric is key to agile prototyping, as it removes the need to dedicate time to bonding components and further shortens the validation cycle. Just three weeks after that first sketch, the StretchSense team can be ready to present their prototype.
Whether that first prototype is just the beginning of the development journey, or you're ready to move on to mass-manufacturing, StretchSense is able to accommodate your needs. Flexible manufacturing capabilities make small production runs of an integrated sensing system possible for iterative prototyping, while a sophisticated volume pricing model scales the cost per unit downwards as orders grow into the hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands and beyond.
While things undeniably move quickly with StretchSense, getting to this point is possible thanks to over a decade of development and refinement behind the scenes. From a lab at the University of Auckland to today's cutting-edge manufacturing facility, the company has been evolving all elements of its technology to reach the reliable, robust and customizable systems it produces today.
Integrated into smart garments, the new generation stretch sensing arrays deliver unparalleled insight into the form and movement of our bodies. By tailoring every aspect of sensing systems to suit the customer's application, StretchSense is pushing the boundaries of wearable technology. This is demonstrated worldwide by leading innovators who are already using its wearable sensing systems to measure and characterize forces associated with human body movement.