BeBop Sensors, a startup that makes smart fabric sensors for a variety of markets, just announced $10 million in Series A funding.
In the era of big data, wearables, and AR/VR, the company is capitalizing on the rush to make the world more measurable. BeBop makes smart piezoelectric sensing fabric that changes resistance under force or when bent, stretched, and twisted.
Embedded printed circuit boards process and package the data, capturing information such as pressure, XYZ location, bend, motion, rotation, angle, and torsion.
Not surprisingly, the fabric is finding its way into wearables.
BeBop sells custom sensors to enterprise, but it also has several in-house products that showcase the breadth of the technology's applications. One is an affordable data glove for use in AR/VR and gaming.
The company also makes a sensing helmet to measure impact and an insole sensor to measure changing forces on the foot during walking. BeBop's in-seat automotive system intelligently senses and classifies car occupants for safe airbag deployment.
"We believe BeBop to have fundamental technology that will be as important to AI and humans as cameras and microphones," says Eric Wiesen, Managing Partner, Bullpen Capital, which led the round. "Computers need to feel people, and fabric is already deployed in clothing, furniture, and interiors. People are comfortable with it. The perfect place for physical sensors,"
The funding will help BeBop focus on market penetration, especially in wearables markets, which are expected to be worth $5 billion within the decade.