Ben O'Brien

Stretch Sensors

Stretch Sensors - Ben O'Brien

They are attached to a small battery and an electronics board that transmits the amount of stretch in the band by Bluetooth to a smartphone app where it can be read. Stick one to the back of your finger. When you bend it, the sensor stretches and reports the amount of stretch to the app.

StretchSense didn't invent the flexible capacitor technology, nor the battery, nor the smartphone - but in putting them together and developing the patented algorithms to extract the data from the sensors, they've created a world's first simple, comfortable soft sensor. It could have a million uses. Filmmakers can use them to capture and animate precise 3D movements of hands and other body parts. Hands are difficult with current camera-and-dot technology because the fingers obscure each other.

In human-computer interaction, gestures captured with the sensors sewn into a glove, for example, could be used to control a computer in a more complex and intuitive way than a mouse can now. And athletes and doctors working in rehab can use the sensors to precisely monitor the movement of joints.