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February 29, 2016 AT 12:00 pm

MIT Has Invented Easy To Use Sensor-Loaded Duct Tape

SensorTape from Responsive Environments on Vimeo.

Sensor loaded ducts tape that can sense light and movement. via fastcodesign

The magic making SensorTape possible isn’t all that hard to understand. It’s just a repeating pattern of electronics printed on a flexible film—something akin to lining up a bunch of iPhones end-to-end on a table. The secret is that each node knows how to talk to its neighbor, and so in whispering along the chain, the nodes can assemble all of their information into an accurate, real-time 3-D model of their own assumed shape. The lab has placed SensorTape on the back of a shirt to track the position of someone’s spine, but it’s a system so accurate that Dementyev believes it could be used for Hollywood-level motion capture, too. Rather than using suits tracked by positional balls, the technology inside SensorTape could pin on someone’s limbs and self-track.

Of course, it’s not built as much for one use case as it is for any use case. SensorTape wrapped around your door frame might watch as you walk through and turn on your lights for you. SensorTape applied to your couch might track your posture and be able to pause your DVR when you slouch. It’s the sort of open, do-anything-sensor philosophy reminiscent of Twine, but built into the domestic-friendly UX of good old tape.

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