With these being the early days of consumer virtual reality (VR) plenty of companies are experimenting with how to make experiences ever more immersive. Next month Japanese firm Xenoma will be launching a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for a product that aims to do just that, e-Skin clothing.
Xenoma’s e-Skin clothing incorporates stretchable sensors and electronics which detect a user’s movement, whilst at the same time offering the durability and machine washability of a regular shirt, all without the need for external cameras or other sensors. There are 14 ‘strain sensors’ built-in plus an e-skin Hub with a 6-axis accelerometer and gyroscope. The hub uses bluetooth to transmit data to a smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC and has a Micro USB port for re-charging.
“Connected clothing will be the most natural way for people to interact with others and their smart devices in the future,” said Ichiro Amimori, Co-Founder & CEO of Xenoma in a statement. “e-skin apparel is completely different from other wearable devices in the sense that first and foremost it’s still just a shirt that anyone can wear. The added benefit is its potential to provide solutions to many people across many different verticals.”
The Kickstarter will launch on 1st August 2017, looking to raise $50,000 USD. This will be a pre-consumer version, providing the same level of functionality for end users and individual developers as Xenoma’s e-skin Developer’s Kit, just with a reduced cost. For the first 100 backers the e-Skin shirt will cost $479.
Xenoma’s e-skin and software developer kit (SDK) supports application development using Java SDK, Visual C# and Unity, with compatibility coming to MacOS, iOS, and Unreal Engine in the near future.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Xenoma, reporting back with updates on the Kickstarter.