Sensor Sunday: Heart-Rate Tracking Bras, Sensing Toys, Improving Parking Management and an Amazing New Touch Sensor.

This weeks round up of sensors includes wearables, toys, parking and more. This ongoing series highlights the latest news around sensors and their applications. It covers ground from the scientific to the consumer, so read on to get the latest information on what’s sensing and being sensed.

Fitness Sensors Get Even Closer to Your Heart

This week, Victoria Secret announced a new product in their line of sports bras. The Incredible Sports Bra comes with an embedded heart rate sensor that connects to leading sports tracker brands and can also upload workout data to a computer after use. Many companies are integrating sensors into their products and developing new technologies to track fitness, and this new step by the popular lingerie brand certainly supports that wearable sensors are going to be sticking around.

(via TechTimes)

The Age of Sensing Toys

The Verve 2 Starter Kit

The Verve 2 Starter Kit (Photo Credit: InXus Interactive

Cisco made a great post this week about sensors entering into the 21st century toy market. They look at toys like the Kubit cubes, which track how a child plays and puts together blocks. The article also looks at robots like Robo and Ozobot. The latter contains sensors and microprocessors that allow kids to give over 1000 commands to the toy. There’s also Mattel’s Screature, which uses infrared sensors to sense and “attack” its prey, and the more complex Verve 2 by InXus Interactive, which allows kids to design their own interactive systems. There are a lot of cool new sensing toys on this list to add to your wish list this season.

(via Cisco Newsroom)

Monitoring Parking Spaces in Brisbane

In Brisbane, parking sensors are being introduced to better monitor parking spots around the city. The system, currently set up as a trial in 12 sites, has already allowed some insight into city driver’s behaviour and shown the immense volume of cars that go through the parking lots. They hope that the sensors will increase the efficiency of parking control, but these kinds of systems can also be used to inform the public where parking is available.

(via Courier News)

Stress Sensors are Changing the Way Products are Designed

How Sensors That Test Our Stress Could Revolutionize Product Design

A sample of the mPath’s readings while a child plays with LEGO (Photo Credit: mPath)

Wired published a fantastic investigation of Elliott Hedman’s design consultancy, mPath. Hedman designed sensors that track a person’s psychological arousal (say, when that person feels stress) by looking at the skin’s subtle variations in conductance, or in other terms, sweat. The mPath sensors have already been used by Best Buy, the Blue Man Group and Google X to generate information about people’s emotional states and help the brands make their offerings better. It’s also used with kids to track their emotional state during play, and there are countless more applications where it can be and has been used.

(via Wired)

Touch Sensors Get Inspiration from Human Skin

At the Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology, Hyunhyub Ko developed a touch sensor that more closely mimics the sensing capabilities of the human skin. The sensor uses interlocking layers with a voltage applied across. These tactile sensors could be used to improve prosthetic devices and give robots more refined sensing. This is a promising development for touch sensors that is still being tested, but it will be exciting to see where it will be used.

(via Scientific America)

Come back next Sunday for more sensor industry news. If you have news to share, leave your comments in the section below.

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