Interview with Velometrik -Textile pressure sensors in cycling
“Fits like a glove”
Application of textile pressure sensors in cycling
Embro doing an interview with Björn Bauer from Velometrik SmartCover
We manufacture textile pressure sensors for the company Velometrik, which are used to analyze and visualize the pressure distribution on the bicycle saddle. Velometrik GmbH is a software and hardware developer for companies with a focus on the bicycle industry. The element we manufacture has 388 pressure measuring points and is sewn into the Velometrik SmartCover.
How exactly the SmartCover works is explained to us by Mr. Björn Braun, Managing Director at Velometrik.
❔ Björn, how did you come up with the idea of developing a pressure analysis tool for bicycle saddles?
It was actually the demand for pressure analysis systems in cycling – it grew and grew and with it rose the desire for comfortable cycling. Pressure sensors for bicycle saddles already existed on the market, but they are quite expensive and not particularly durable and certainly not flexible. We were looking for a simple, textile-based technology. That’s when we came up with the idea of laying threads in a specific pattern on a carrier material and measuring the electrical resistance at the crossing points in order to be able to monitor the “distribution of pressure”. The joint development work with Embro began and the result is our SmartCover.
With our associated saddle pressure analysis software, we determine the pressure distribution on the bicycle saddle and compare the gathered data before and after changing the settings on the bike. We try to recognize and eliminate pressure peaks at an early stage as these are exactly what causes the pain later on.
❔ How does the SmartCover work?
The SmartCover is a 3-layer textile. The conductive layer changes its electrical resistance when pressure is applied. We measure the resistance and translate it to a calibration curve. This procedure enables us to make pressures visible. The pressure sensor is extremely sensitive, flexible, and durable.
❔ For whom is the evaluation of the pressure distribution particularly relevant?
Our current customers are bike fitters and physical therapists. They analyze the pressure distribution and use their expertise and experience to make changes to the sitting position in order to avoid pain.
❔ We find it remarkable that Velometrik develops and maintains the entire software itself –
where do you see further potential for the future?
Björn: That is our great advantage! We develop the sensors, the electronics for the pressure sensor and the evaluation system for the user. In addition to the biking world, we see other possible applications in care and medicine (e.g. bed sores/decubitus, patient transport, prosthesis adjustments, gait analysis, etc.). Our pressure sensors are equally suitable as textile control units, which also recognize gestures.
Thank you Björn for your insights and we look forward to more exciting projects.
Björn: We would also like to thank Embro for the longstanding and very good cooperation!
Mr Bjorn Bauer
Breunsdorfer Strasse 48
Phone: +49 (0)34342 – 50 97 60
#velometry #sensors #pressureanalysis