LG Innotek has developed a wide-surfaced, fabric-like pressure sensor that can be curled up, the company has announced.
LG hopes the sensor will be used on medical devices or cars to check the condition of patients and drivers.
Most sensors are coin-shaped and small, and can only sense certain points when applied to a large surface, resulting in readings that are uneven, said LG Innotek. The new fiber-type sensor solves this problem, being able to sense from anywhere on its surface.
The company said it used elastic material that allows it to be fitted on any device. It filed 13 patents for the sensor and can commercialise it within the year.
Theoretically, these characteristics allow for wide applications. In healthcare, the sensors can be placed on carpets used by patients or aid devices to read their movement patterns and health statuses. In sports, it can be placed in golf gloves to read the wearer's balance. The sensor can be placed under car sheets to measure the weight and body shape of the driver and control airbag pressure.
The standard sensor unit is 1mm thin and 1 meter-square wide, and can be cut to make it smaller. It can then be used in wider surfaces by placing them in tandem, LG said.
The sensor can withstand harsh temperatures, having operated 240 hours at below 40°C and above 80°C during testing, the company said. Its sensitivity is proven to last even if a 70kg man were to sit on it 100,000 times.
In February, LG Innotek developed a cover glass with fingerprint recognition for smartphones.