The Footfalls & Heartbeats technology combines mathematically determined textile structures using electrically conductive yarn to form a repeatable and sensitive sensor network.
The technology uses the three-dimensional complexity of a textile structure, including interactions of fibres within the yarn itself, to control the electrical contact resistance characteristics of the sensor structure.
The technology brings a new level of sophistication to smart textiles through the application of computer controlled state-of-the-art knitting machines, conductive fibre technology and micro power sources to produce textile structures that are capable of registering external environmental stimuli in the form of electrical signals.
These signals can be filtered, amplified and analysed in real-time to produce multiple data sets relating to physiological output, limb movement, proprioception and either tensile or compressive force detection within or upon organic or man-made structures.
The global market for smart fabrics and intelligent textiles and its applications is growing.
An early and likely application for Footfalls & Heartbeats’ technology is the integration into compression bandages for use on chronic leg ulcers. With several large corporate partners, Footfalls & Heartbeats developing a design for a bandage that can revolutionise the application and long term monitoring of compression therapy for wound care.
Footfalls’ world class textile pressure sensing technology will also allow for realtime monitoring of individual rehabilitation from musculoskeletal injuries whether chronic condition, age or sport related.
Other areas with potential include miniaturising textile based medical devices, infant monitoring, pressure sensing in wheelchairs and beds, and performance monitoring for top athletes.
Footfalls and Heartbeats have raised around £4m in funding since 2013 with investors including Foresight Group and MEIF.