Signal Processing Advances Consumer Electronics: New Research Impacts and Improves the Way Users Interact with Mobile and Wearable Devices in Daily Life

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The Special Report “Signal Processing Advances Consumer Electronics” in the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine (Volume 36, Issue 3, May 2019) talked about “iSoft”, a soft, stretchable sensor developed by one of the C Design Lab alumni, Sang Ho Yoon.

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Emerging wearable consumer devices, ranging from health and fitness monitors to virtual-reality systems, rely on sensors for essential input signals. The problem is that many current-generation sensors are not designed for use with such applications.

A team of Purdue University researchers now believes that it has met the need for a durable, highly flexible sensor with a new type of soft and stretchable device designed specifically for use with wearable systems and other mobile devices (Figure 3). The technology, called iSoft, is capable of real-time multimodal sensing, the team reports.

As a promising input technology, capable of adding interactions to both rigid and elastic surfaces, stretchable soft sensors have been investigated and prototyped for many years, observes Karthik Ramani, a Purdue professor of mechanical engineering and director of the university’s C Design Lab. However, the necessary multistep fabrication process and the need for expensive manufacturing equipment have prevented large-scale production. “In our work, iSoft allows users to fabricate soft sensors inexpensively, customize interfaces easily, and deploy them instantly,” he says. “We are also able to develop and test new forms of wearables quickly and also personalize the wearable to a particular size—a glove, for example.” [Read More]

-by John Edwards

[Link to the research paper]

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Posted in Karthik Ramani, News, Sang Ho Yoon