Smart apparel company Xenoma has launched a Kickstarter project for the pre-consumer version of its “e-skin” shirt, which enables motion-tracking for augmented and virtual reality apps without the need for a camera.
E-skin apparel incorporates 14 stretchable strain sensors to detect the user’s movement via a hub equipped with a 6-axis accelerometer and gyroscope. The hub transmits information to a smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC via Bluetooth.
Xenoma – a spinoff company from the University of Tokyo – says the e-skin provides a new intuitive and immersive input for interacting with VR content and games, as well as means for analyzing exercise and athletic sports. Xenoma also says e-skin apparel is as comfortable, durable and machine washable as a regular shirt.
The Kickstarter project aims to provide a new, open source platform for more people to create and share user experiences, said Xenoma co-founder and CEO Ichiro Amimori.
“Our e-skin is quite useful and insightful for recognizing what kinds of activities the wearer is doing without being constrained by a camera,” he said. “We believe there are a variety of needs where e-skin can provide a solution to satisfy and help people.”
Xenoma’s e-skin and SDK supports application development on Java SDK, Visual C#, Unity and Unreal Engine for MacOS and iOS as well as the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) to interface with the Microsoft HoloLens.
Xenoma’s SDK has also incorporated machine learning functionality though their data and movement visualization tool which plugs into Google’s TensorFlow, an open-source deep learning library.
The pre-consumer version of e-skin will be provided to the first 100 people for a backing amount of $479. This version has the same level of functionality for end users and individual developers as the e-skin developer’s kit for enterprises. A special edition cybernetic design will be available as a Kickstarter exclusive.
Xenoma has set a target of goal of raising $50,000. The project will run until September 6th.