Live Sessions

Published on March 20th, 2016 | by Jerry Doby


StretchSense wearable soft sensor innovations bring the ‘Digital Revolution’ to entertainment, fashion and music

lineup_wlogo copy As we move from the analog age into the rapidly advancing Digital Revolution which looks beyond Millennial Generation to the newly branded Generation Z which has several other titles like Homeland Generation or iGen as it’s becoming more commonly known. iGen generally refers to those born between 2005 to 2025, those who basically came into the world holding a smart phone.

StretchSense is a company which specializes in smart sensors capable of harvesting energy which have uses in wearable garments and devices across a wide spectrum. The startup, headed by CEO Ben O’Brien, showcased with a major splash during this year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show) and New York Fashion Week event. Each event featured special segments which incorporated StretchSense soft sensor technology, interwoven with wearable garments like the amazing StretchSense gloves which debuted on stage during CES as part of a special musical performance as part of the Opening Keynote session:

The gloves employed stretch sensor technology to measure the motion of the performer’s fingers. A sensor hub the size of a button on the back of the hand captured the motion data and integrated it with on-board accelerometers to recreate the movements and shape of the hand. The data was then used to synthesize the performance in real time.

Performers gave the crowd something spectacular at this year’s CES when they performed A R Rahman‘s classic “Jai Ho!” at the CES Opening Keynote address from the CEO of the world’s largest chip manufacturer. In attendance was A R Rahman, the musician and composer, also as known as the Mozart of Madras. An air guitarist at the keynote used a special StretchSense glove incorporating state-of-the-art soft sensor technology. The glove’s in-built sensors allowed the performer to play virtually, without the use of a physical instrument.

By fusing art with technology, the performance showed how wearables are moving beyond simple body tracking tools, and will soon provide seamless ways for users to interact with the virtual world. Creating this level of interaction in an unobtrusive and natural way is difficult and requires measurement of precise hand movements. StretchSense has solved this with sensors that have the comfort and precision needed for the next generation of wearables called “disappearables”.

Fashion meets soft sensor technology during New York Fashion Week

For New York Fashion Week, StretchSense sensors were used during the debut of Chromat’s AW16 collection. Chromat designers merged StretchSense technology with fashion, to create responsive garments with a unique minimalist flair in its ultra-skeletal design. StretchSense is a long-time collaborator with the fashion label who focuses on structural experiments for the human body. Becca McCharen, CEO of Chromat, has designed for high profile celebrities including Beyonce, Madonna and Taylor Swift).

About StretchSense

Ben_8478 copyStretchSense supplies soft sensing and energy harvesting technologies to the wearables, sports, healthcare, gaming and other industries. Additional information about the company’s sensor products are available at

SoftSense CEO Ben O’Brien, gave The Hype Magazine a complete rundown on how soft sensor technology applies to entertainment like big production stage shows, unique fashion applications as well as medical uses to help improve quality of life.

O’Brien tells us that the team of StretchSense looks to make things “smarter”:

Interview and story by Jerry Doby


About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.

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