UBC Okanagan doctoral student Hossein Montazerian examines the tiny sensors embedded into a fibre. (Contributed)

New UBC Okanagan tech could leave smart watches in the dust

UBC Okanagan develops washable, yarn-like sensors with promising health applications

UBC Okanagan researchers have created a new smart tech that could challenge smart watches.

The university’s School of Engineering has developed a low-cost sensor that can be woven into materials and composite materials paving the way toward smart clothing that can monitor movements and human activity.

These microscopic sensors, treated with graphene nanoplatelets, can read the body’s activity and monitor heart rates, said engineering school professor Mina Hoorfar.

READ MORE: Okanagan College offers new technology program

“Microscopic sensors are changing the way we monitor machines and humans,” Hoorfar said.

“Combining the shrinking of technology along with improved accuracy, the future is very bright in this area.”

Smart clothing will be beneficial for athletes, reminding users when to hydrate or rest, but UBC professor Abbas Milani said the technology can also be used in aerospace, automotive and marine manufacturing, as it can monitor breakdowns in fabrics already used in those industries.

With further improvements the local technology will be able to capture major flaws like ‘fibre wrinkling’ in manufacturing of composite structures used in airplanes and car bodies, said Milani.

“Integrating sensor technologies like piezo-resistive sensors made of flexible materials compatible with the host textile reinforcement is becoming a real game-changer in the emerging era of smart manufacturing and current automated industry trends,” said Milani.

READ MORE: UBC Okanagan opens high-tech learning building


Caitlin Clow
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at caitlin.clow@kelownacapnews.com
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter

Just Posted

Firefighters have doused a Peachland house fire

Fire crews are still on scene investigating the cause of the BBQ fire which made its way to the home

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: cloudy, rain expected

Environment Canada is calling for a risk of thunderstorms tonight across the Okanagan

Special memorial service to say goodbye to murdered teen

A memorial service and celebratio of life was held Tuesday for murdered teen Elijah-Iain Beauregard

Parking meters, be gone: Kelowna city staff

Council amends financial plan to quickly replace standalone meters in wake of ongoing vandalism

Wilson M. Beck Charity Golf Tournament in Kelowna benefiting YMCA of Okanagan

The tournament is sold out with 144 golfers swinging for the cause

Athletes and volunteers ecstatic about triathlon’s return to the Okanagan

Race will take place in 2020 on Aug. 30 in Penticton

False report of dead body leads police to sex dolls at Manning Park

Princeton RCMP breathed a sigh of relief, momentarily, when they discovered a… Continue reading

Ironman returns to Okanagan after seven-year absence

Subaru Ironman Canada is coming back to Penticton in 2020

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Okanagan College campus flies Syilx flag

The Okanagan Nation Alliance flag was raised at a ceremony at Vernon campus on July 16

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

Summerland clinic will be closed on August long weekend

Medical office assistant needed at Rosedale Medical Clinic

Most Read