Softmatter, the sketch-to-shelf technology company that operates at the intersect of soft goods and wearables, today announced its configurable stack of new technologies to accelerate the adoption and proficiency of wearables. The technologies enhance the wearability and user experience of devices by changing their composition through the integration of textile technology.
Catering to the needs within the Consumer Technology and Consumer Health industries, Softmatter’s portfolio of solutions look to facilitate access and scale by connecting creators to consumers. Some of the technology solutions displayed at CES 2023 include:
- Re-engineered artificial reality (AR) & virtual reality (VR) headsets
- Premium Wristable Materials
- Softmatter’s Sensor Integrated Products
“We are on a journey to enable positive change, driving progress through smart engineering solutions and wearable technology to elevate and empower the human experience,” said Softmatter CEO Ulysses Wong.
Re-engineered Artificial Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR) Headsets
The first generation of AR/VR headsets was developed in rigid form factors and carried a bulky design. Softmatter saw the need for improvements impacting comfort, duration of wear, softer stretchable materials, and a design that allows for modularized, lightweight, distributed computing and de-coupling power and processing from the optics.
- Enabling high-speed data transfer to build a user-friendly headset: By developing a textile cable in a soft form factor to transform design, Softmatter can accurately transfer high-speed data without losing accuracy, even when stretched. Developed over 16 discrete form factors with textile, TPU, conductive ink, etc.
- Integrated Technologies – Haptics & Sensors: Electrocardiogram (ECG), or Electromyography (EMG) can be customized considering the optimal positioning of the electrodes for different user categories, while an integrated haptic system enables tactile feedback and notification mechanisms in a virtual reality or gaming environment in response to various stimuli in the VR.
- Power Reserves – Flexible Battery Integration: Flex battery cells are used with the intention of progress in on-body computing and removing roadblocks with bulky and heavy-powering devices. Softmatter’s solution is a lightweight, flexible, washable, semi-solid electrolyte construction, that acts as a complementary power reserve to the on-device battery, allowing for longer and more seamless usage of the device.
Premium Wristable Materials
Softmatter has extensive experience with materials and constructions to achieve parameters across aesthetics, comfort, composition, elasticity, and fit. This expertise with wearables, allows Softmatter to integrate smart features in the form of sensors and haptics, flex battery power reserve, illumination/notification, dry electrodes, etc., allowing for better functionality and miniaturization.
- Ergonomics and Usability – Engineered Knit and Narrow Width Elastics: Engineered wrist straps with advanced textiles, such as flat knit and woven elastics, allow for the creation of entirely new comfortable next-to-skin structures without hindering functionality and long-term use. The flat knits enable lightweight, breathable complex structures with specific inhomogeneous textures and complicated geometries. Other improvements include the exclusions of buckles and clasps, resulting in a lighter, breathable zero-waste wrist strap that offers a more precise second-skin feel.
Sensor Integrated Products
Softmatter is capturing health and motion-related information through the integration of textile-based and electronic sensors into apparel – an untethered and flexible approach to data gathering for motion and biopotential analysis for fitness and posture. Softmatter’s Sensor Integrated Products can measure metrics ranging from Electrocardiogram (ECG), Electroencephalogram (EEG), Electromyography (EMG), Movement, Temperature, and Pressure, which can be incorporated into a variety of form factors.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG): An ECG sensor integrated into apparel measures heart rate, respiration, and workout effort during high-intensity fitness workouts.
- Electroencephalogram (EEG): EEG sensors (temporal, mastoid, etc.) can be incorporated into various head-worn form factors for applications such as sleep, neuroscience, stress management, and consumer tech. Softmatter’s ecosystem of partners can customize EEG sensors to work next-to-skin or through hair.
- Electromyography (EMG): The EMG sensors are incorporated into an apparel form factor in a non-obtrusive manner to track muscle activity and balance from afar in real-time. These EMG (and strain) sensors can be used as a gesture-tracking mechanism.
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