Sometimes it takes someone from outside an industry to come up with something revolutionary. When it comes to wearable data collection, BeBop’s entry into the world of flexible smart sensors stems from their experience with musical instruments. Keith McMillen is the founder of KMI, an instrument company out of Berkeley, CA that specializes in MIDI controllers and keyboards that have already been using a similar fabric sensor for years.
“BeBop is a natural step for KMI, where we have diligently tuned fabrics, geometries, and production processes allowing us to ship over 1 million sensors to some of the most demanding musicians in the world,” said Keith McMillen, Founder, KMI and BeBop Sensors. “All musical instruments are essentially sensors with forms of acoustic processing attached. The same care and creativity used to build our instruments will serve well for our non-musical customers as we expand into the wearables market.”
Now with over 1 million of the sensors in current use, Keith is taking his sensor and eyeing a new market – anything that can be worn. Unlike any of the sensors currently on the market, the BeBop sensor uses a proprietary and patented monolithic design that is capable of measuring all components of movement including bend, location, motion, rotation, angle, torque. In addition to monitoring various physical vitals the sensors can also be used as wearable controllers for smart phones. Answer calls, change tracks, volume, etc. all while the phone remains in your pocket.
Obviously the sensor is just the beginning as it will take clothing manufacturers integrating it into their products for it to be really useful. But what are the possibilities? Try on a few after the break…