Kansai Univ, Teijin develop piezoelectric wearable sensors

January 17, 2018 - Japan

Professor Yoshiro Tajitsu of Japan's Kansai University’s faculty of engineering science and Teijin Frontier Co Ltd, the Teijin Group’s fibre-product converting company, have jointly developed e-stitch, a series of fashionable piezoelectric wearable sensors with stitch designs that measure body motions like extension, contraction, bending and twisting.

Soft, flexible e-stitch sensors are largely unrestricted in terms of fabric types and embroidery patterns, allowing them to be produced in highly fashionable designs, a press release from the company said.

Kansai University and Teijin have been jointly developing eco-conscious PLA piezoelectric materials for a number of years. Piezoelectricity is the generation of electric charges by certain dielectric materials in response to mechanical stress.

The new series is based on piezoelectric kumihimo (a Japanese form of braid-making ) wearable sensors that the university and the company jointly announced in January last year. The technologies embodied in soft, flexible e-stitch sensors represent a break from preconceived ideas about wearable sensors because they offer new levels of sensing convenience and fashion, the company claimed.

The e-stitch sensors and their applications, including use in ladies’ modern denim wear, pet wear and athletic-shoe insoles, will be displayed at the 4th Wearable Expo, the world’s largest exhibition of wearable devices and products, in Tokyo from January 17 to 19.

Both sides will continue to explore the potential of polylactic-acid (PLA) and aim to create sensing technologies for augmented-reality applications in the Internet of Things. (DS)