196 – Susan Bernard of Textile Instruments – Fabrics You Can Literally Tune

NASA licensed sensor technology incorporated into fabric to allow for health monitoring of living beings…

Susan Bernard, Component Distributor / Innovator / Supply Chain Expert and CEO/Founder of Textile Instruments (the first fabric that is wireless without electrical connections and without bulk, built on technology licensed from NASA – (profile)) joins Pavan Bahl, Rob Sanchez and Marc Raco at WEAR Conference 2017 in San Francisco.

Inspiration from NASA, following a hunch, and tunable fabric

Bernard shares the origins of her company and mission from when she was attending a NASA technology event a few years ago and having a conversation about sensors, how she started thinking about using sensors to monitor her baby, and bringing the NASA technology down to earth. Looking at ancient mathematics and different shapes, and taking 2D passive sensors and correlating them into fabric forms, recreating the same sensors made of different materials, making them out of a hunch, and building a suite of sensors of different textiles. Result: extremely high resonant frequencies are detectable, a wide range of spectrum to operate sensors. Bernard’s background in music as concert pianist, relating to how depending on thread count and length of thread and properties results get a different frequency, parallel to musical instrument strings — tunable fabrics.

Applications in elder, child and wound care, ergonomic possibilities, and focus on the real opportunities

Invisible field/aura around everything that vibrates, having an impedance that interrogates a dielectric field and gives frequency response, working on an app to be able to sense moving or moisture in fabric, applications for adult care, wound care, infant care, enhancement to nursing. How it is like RFID and you have to hit it with a signal. Good frequencies and bad frequencies, opportunities for ergonomic applications, concentration on quality of life and safety, not sportswear. Focusing on less congested space with big opportunity. Mothers guilt, patches of fabric samples, like a pouch with electronics inside, putting the sensor onto any fabric then tune the sensors to that fabric. Tuned per garment vs. type of fabric.

Military implications and PTSD, protecting IP, and autonomy

Commercial applications but also an asset for government to be keeping ahead of curve of knowledge and technology, and creating parallel path to help soldier. First product for early baseline detection of PTSD in soldiers because of biomedical markers to tuned fabrics. And protecting IP. Plus, Off the Grid Questions cover having no choice to fail as first generation American, being chosen by music, synesthesia, tennis, being a Renaissance Woman, autonomy and success, breakfast in bed, and a daily selfie to stay connected.

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