#aftermarket – BeBop Sensors, Inc. www.bebopsensors.com, a leader in smart fabric sensor technology has announced that it has won the 2015 Frost & Sullivan North American Technology Innovation Award for its fabric sensor technology. Frost & Sullivan presented BeBop Sensors with the prestigious Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovations Award because BeBop Sensors provides the ideal solution for today’s flexible fabric sensors industry. Embedded fabric sensors are an emerging field with great potential in various industries, such as wearables, sports, healthcare, automotive, and manufacturing.
Mr. Sumit Kumar Pal, senior research analyst at Frost & Sullivan, said, “OEMs find it challenging to develop or procure smart fabric sensors that are multi-functional, reliable, and low-priced. Luckily for them, BeBop Sensor’s innovative smart fabric sensor technology meets these requirements, and because of its strong overall performance, BeBop Sensors is recognized with Frost & Sullivan’s 2015 Technology Innovation Award in Smart Fabric Sensors.” Frost & Sullivan’s Technology Innovation Awards are presented each year to companies that are predicted to encourage significant growth in their industries, have identified emerging trends before they became the standard in the marketplace, and have created advanced technologies that will catalyze and transform industries in the near future.
BeBop CEO Keith McMillen said, “We’re very pleased to be recognized by Frost & Sullivan for our advanced position in the emerging smart fabric sensor market. Turning concepts into shipping product is the undoing for many startups. We are unique to have so many years of experience in providing robust solutions and feel this advantage will be seen in every sensor we make”.
BeBop Sensors designs and manufactures custom smart fabric solutions for OEMs. Since launching in Q4 2014, BeBop has completed 14 new sensors for OEM solutions in numerous fields. BeBop Sensors uses a proprietary Monolithic Fabric Sensor Technology that integrates all of the sensors, traces and electronics into a single piece of fabric. This approach affords greater sensitivity, resolution, range of deployment and fantastic robustness with diminutive size. Implemented differently than other wearables that measure physiology (EKG, EMG), BeBop measures physicality. BeBop technology senses and displays pressure, XY location, bend, motion, rotation, angle, and torsion.
According to Engineering.com, “BeBop’s future looks promising. They tout a technology that has already caught the eye of hundreds of companies in a range of different markets, from athletic goods to medical sensors to automotive.” and Wearable Tech World said, “The solutions BeBop offer for integration into wearable products is an impressive list…Wearable technology is a hot topic right now, and it seems like BeBop Sensors is staking claim in the industry at the right time.”
Shipping now, BeBop’s sensor technology is based on smart fabric technology that has been under development for 6 years. BeBop’s core sensor technology was originally deployed by Keith McMillen Instruments (KMI), which now has over 2 million smart fabric sensors in regular daily use in its musical instrument products. BeBop Sensors was spun out of KMI last year to take advantage of the growing need for practical fabric sensors with a proven record in design, manufacture and performance.
New BeBop Prototypes:
Automotive – “Smart Tire”: adjusts suspension & anti-lock brakes/reports on tread depth
BeBop has developed a prototype “smart tire” that can sense the road surface, tire profile, and detailed information about the contact patch — the all-important hand sized area where the rubber literally meets the road. CEO Keith McMillen says, “While tire pressure monitoring is becoming standard, greater knowledge of the tire’s profile and road engagement can be used to adjust suspension, enlighten anti-lock braking and report on tread depth.” See video on “smart tire” at: https://youtu.be/mo6DpZvinpk.
Gaming, VR & Medical – Disposable Data Gloves: senses body motion, finger flexing, & abduction
Other applications for the versatile smart fabrics include detailed sensing of bodily motion. A first generation prototype of an all fabric data glove provides information of finger flexing and abduction from 14 fabric sensors. Combined with BeBop’s previously announced data insole, a sophisticated VR sensing system for locomotion and manipulation is available to certain OEMs. The Monolithic Fabric Sensor Technology can be used to produce sensors that are priced low enough to be considered disposable by medical and industrial standards. See video of disposable data gloves at: https://youtu.be/j-UYN4qMsYo.