BeBop Sensors Launches Wearable Smart Fabric Technology

First Thin Smart Fabric Sensors to Measure All Aspects of Physicality:
Force, Location, Size, Twist, Bend, Stretch & Motion

Patented Monolithic Fabric Sensors Let You Answer Calls from a Shirt, Predict Diabetic Events & Measure Gait through Insoles, Show Hand/Foot Location on Gym Mats, & 
Track Driver Alertness in Steering Wheels

For Clothing, Shoes, & Gear for Sports, Medical, Gaming, Robotics, Aerospace, & Security 
Applications Include Controllers, Measurement, Monitoring, 3D Modeling, & More

Berkeley, CA, October 27, 2014 – BeBop Sensors, Inc., the wearable sensor technology company created by musical instrument inventor Keith McMillen and KMI, announced today their first products, BeBop Wearable Smart Fabric Sensor, the first and only ultra thin wearable smart fabric sensor that measures all aspects of physicality, including bend, location, motion, rotation, angle, & torque.  Employing BeBop’s patented proprietary Monolithic Fabric Sensor Technology, BeBop fabric sensors continuously provide real-time reporting on force, x/y location, bend, twist, size, stretch and motion for markets, including clothing and protective wear, shoes, healthcare devices, athletic equipment, automotive, robotics, aerospace, gaming, biometrics, prosthetics, recycling monitors and appliance markets.

Smart Fabric Sensor Solutions Provide 3D Maps of Data  

Unlike other wearable sensors on the market today that only measure physiology (EKG, EMG), electrical conductivity or breathing, BeBop measures actual physicality to sense and display 3D maps of data.  Fundamental, tested, and extensible with over a million sensors already in daily use through KMI’s musical instrument products, BeBop’s Monolithic Fabric Sensors integrate sensors, traces, and electronics into a single piece of fabric to provide greater sensitivity, resolution, range of deployment, and robustness -- all with a tiny size. 

BeBop Elegant Smart Fabric Sensor Company for OEMs Spun Out from KMI Musical Instrument Innovator 

Created for the rapidly-growing wearable technology market, BeBop sensor technology was created after six years of developing smart fabric sensors for more expressive musical instruments, such as KMI’s popular QuNexus and QuNeo keyboards.  After being approached by numerous companies requesting KMI’s fabric sensor technology, KMI launched spin-off company BeBop Sensors to fulfill the demand. 

BeBop’s variety of solutions available now for integration into new wearable products:
  • Wearable Controllers:  for sleeves of jackets or shirts to connect to smartphones to answer calls, adjust volume or select songs, all while the smartphone remains in the user’s pocket.
  • 1mm Thin Shoe Insoles:  measures gait, pressure, contact style, fit, and flexure of toes and feet.
  • Planar, spherical or cylindrical geometries:  used as pressure maps, head sensors or handles of athletic equipment.
  • Smart Yoga and Gym Mats:  show hand and foot pressure for teaching.
  • Grip Sensors:  detail finger positions for baseball, golf, etc.Car Seat Sensors:  senses airbag fill volume and passenger weight.
  • Car Steering Wheels:  sense driver alertness.
  • Weight Lifting Gloves:  indicate weight and even load.
  • Foot Volume Sensing:  anticipate Diabetic events.
  • Cycling Shoe Inserts:  power meters. 
“BeBop is a natural step for KMI, where we have diligently tuned fabrics, geometries, and production processes allowing us to ship over 1 million sensors to some of the most demanding musicians in the world,” said Keith McMillen, Founder, KMI and BeBop Sensors.  “All musical instruments are essentially sensors with forms of acoustic processing attached.  The same care and creativity used to build our instruments will serve well for our non-musical customers as we expand into the wearables market.”

BeBop OEM Turnkey Offerings Now Available 

BeBop is now offering custom turnkey sensor solutions for OEMs to incorporate into their products, ranging from basic sensors to complete wireless solutions with advanced power management.  Visualization programs for any design with an easily-modified SDK (Software Developer’s Kit) allows manufacturers to create custom apps by choosing from a variety of 2D and 3D representations and colors or by driving the BeBop data into whole new applications.   

“Good designs get the job done, great designs strive for an elegance and simplicity that will make the integration of wearable computing a seamless part of everyday life,” said McMillen.  When McMillen created a foot controller allowing disabled people complete control of a computer, Forbes reported: “In 1984, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs made the computer mouse mainstream. In 2010, Microsoft introduced the Kinect, allowing computer gamers to control video games by moving their bodies. And on June 21, 2011, Keith McMillen Instruments introduced a gadget that lets you use your computer with your feet.” 

About BeBop Sensors 

BeBop uses smart fabrics to create elegant sensor solutions for OEMs with its patented technology.  Where things or people interact, Bebop sensors comprehend force, location, size, weight, shape and presence across any size, resolution and geometry.  BeBop technology is robust and proven with over a million sensors already in daily use.   Based in Berkeley, California, BeBop Sensors make things knowable for product designers and visionaries.  See demonstrations at the BeBop Sensors website. 

About Keith McMillen Instruments (KMI) 

Based in Berkeley, California, Keith McMillen Instruments (KMI) is a leading developer of innovative hardware and software technologies that allow musicians to interface with computers in exciting new ways with tools that add new dimensions of expression and control to their performances.  KMI believes when a computer is played as a musical instrument, it should feel and respond like one, with all the nuances and sensitivity that makes an instrument musical.  For more information, see the website: 


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