From flexible touch screens to smart driving seats and robot 'skin', smart material pressure sensors from Quantum Technology Supersensors have a host of exciting applications
Quantum Technology Supersensors has won 'Breakthrough of the Year' at the Business Green Technology Awards for its smart material pressure sensors. These advanced materials enable electronic environmental impact reduction, efficiency gains, cost reduction, novel Human Machine Interfaces, and differentiating and sustainable product innovation.
QTSS™ materials are not only environmentally friendly but are also skin and food contact safe. They harness Quantum Technology in such a way as to achieve functionalities that have been otherwise unattainable, demonstrating unprecedented ‘super controllability' over a vast range of conduction and sensitivities.
They change from insulator to conductor under pressure, becoming increasingly conductive in proportion to the amount of force applied - and importantly, are low power processing. QTSS™ materials come in a number of forms including inks, coatings, paints, sheets and foams. They are flexible, moldable, low power processing, robust, suitable for harsh environments and can be printed directly onto most surfaces including paper, textiles and electronic or recyclable substrates.
QTSS™ materials are relevant to all markets and applications to create 2D and 3D, single and multi-touch pressure/force/touch sensors of any size, shape or thickness. They are simple to deploy and compatible with open source software.
3D-shaped touch surfaces can be created using QTSS™ smart materials which can sense both X and Y position and 'Z' pressure/force in the third dimension. They can also track multiple touches with independent pressure readings for each touch simultaneously and operate under a 'point' or a 'broad surface' area pressure.
By combining printed electronics and molding technologies new user interfaces and 3D-touch surfaces are feasible. Touch capability can also become structurally integrated into devices, allowing new design opportunities, space saving, assembly simplification, weight reduction, low power processing and cost saving. It's a perfect fit for electric transportation, Internet of Things (IoT) and tomorrow's products, and a move from 2D touch capability to a 3D force touch capability.
Printed electronics enable new components and functionalities. The printing of thin, flexible and lightweight electronic sensors using large scale high-volume manufacturing processes opens up a host of design opportunities in key market sectors such as automotive, aerospace, IOT, healthcare, consumer, industrial, robotics, smart homes & packaging.
Environmentally friendly QTSS™ inks allow the creation of interactive products from disposable/recyclable paper pressure sensors through to 3D 'force touch' flexible screens, IOT data collection devices and robot skin, with a cost and functionality that cannot be achieved with conventional electronics. A single printed QTSS™ dot can even operate as a 3D joystick and a single sensor can be simply reconfigured through software to fit multiple applications.
Quantum Technology Supersensors is a specialist materials development company based at NETpark in Sedgefield, UK, and licenses its technology.
QTSS™ materials are already being deployed in textile wearables, footwear and seating by its licensee Infi-Tex, and they have been selected by the UK's Department for International Trade as one of the UK's 30 brightest tech innovations for their work with interactive textiles. They have also won the Wearables Technology Show 2017 Innovation Award.
The Centre for Process Innovation - the UK's process arm of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult - is a process partner.
Novel functional materials can play a significant role in solving global challenges, such as reducing the environmental impact of sensors and electronics and meeting the need for low power processing whilst reducing costs for companies. They also promise the creation of novel Human Machine Interfaces, as well as differentiating and sustainable product innovation.
These flexible, robust, printable and moldable electronic pressure/force/touch sensors enable the creation of exciting new products able to enhance the interface between the physical and digital world in an efficient, cost saving and environmentally friendly way.
Quantum Technology Supersensors won 'Breakthrough of the Year' at the BusinessGreen Technology Awards 2017