Establishment of Sentaz BV
For almost 2 years, Teijin Aramid and Elitac have been working together on the development of a tactile navigation seat for first reponder drivers. As a result of the positive results obtained in this collaboration, it was decided in 2016 to further develop and commercialize the product, resulting in the establishment the joint-venture Sentaz BV earlier this month. On February 15th, both parties came together to sign the shareholders agreement and celebrate this important milestone in the collaboration.
The issue addressed by the Sentaz team is the high mental pressure that first responder drivers experience on their way to incidents, a result of the ever-increasing exposure to audiovisual signals of on-board communication systems. Although on one hand, modern communication technologies help first responders in an effective assessment of the situation on their way to an emergency, a counter effect is that these signals also increase the risk of making navigation mistakes and may distract the driver’s eyes from the road.
Based on the results of an earlier study at TNO, a tactile navigation seat was developed. The seat receives instructions from the navigation system and translates these into different vibration patterns. In doing so, the driver receives gentle vibrations that translate into intuitive navigation instructions upon approaching junctions, exits or even roundabouts. This helps the driver to keep the eyes focused on the road and reduces the chance of making navigation mistakes.
The product, a smart integration of textiles and electronics into a carseat (patent filed), has been tested in 2016 by approaching possible end-users with prototype-systems that demonstrate the key features of the product. The feedback after extensive tests is positive and confirms the anticipated value proposition.
Based on these promising results, Sentaz BV has been established with the goal to further develop, certify and commercialize the system. If you’re interested in more information, please have a look at www.sentaz.com
Fysiopal, a body posture coach
To fortify the body in re-establishing its natural demeanour, the collaboration between Elitac and Pauline van Dongen has resulted in a smart top entitled FysioPal. FysioPal aims to help avoid health issues and rehabilitate the body caused by incorrect postures and upper-body positions.
As the human body is subject to the evolution of the tools it uses, we tend to adjust our physical posture to contemporary devices we work with on a daily basis. The current design of our main working equipment, in particular in an office environment, requires one to adopt postures that disrupt the natural condition of our physique. According to contemporary healthcare research, people who have an office job nowadays are dealing with the negative side-effects of working in an unhealthy sitting position. Affecting such a majority of people, both Elitac and Pauline van Dongen felt it necessary to come up with and employ solutions to combat this issue.
FysioPal functions as a second skin that measures haptic signals around the neck, shoulders and back of the body. The FysioPal product consists of a top with integrated hardware, designed to be worn under regular clothing, and a smartphone app which visualises collected data on the wearer’s body posture. When the wearer succumbs to an unhealthy posture, the smart tank top communicates a gentle reminder through vibration to rehabilitate the body position. Thanks to the sensorial properties and communication software, FysioPal is ideal for one to wear during office hours.
Photographs: Wouter le Duc
Multinational cooperates with startup
To reduce mental load of first responders, Teijin Aramid (Arnhem) and Elitac (Utrecht) joined forces. Elitac is a startup that is specialised in transmitting information by means of vibrations. Together Teijin Aramid and Elitac further developed the concept of tactile navigation in a car seat. Currently, this cooperation will be further strengthened by the creation of a joint venture.
For more information you can have a look at the Sentaz website (www.sentaz.com).
Read the full Startup50 Magazine (in Dutch): link
SenSuit project Kick-off
(May 2 2016)
The SenSuit project has successfully started on the 2nd of May. Elitac, Frauenhofer Gesellschaft, S-Gard and EagleScience are kicking off their project at the Elitac office in Utrecht. From now on, the groups will be developing a tracking and communication system that lets the commander localize the executing firefighters in the building.
Elitac will be responsible for the development of the wearable hardware, which will be worn by the firefighters and connected with the commander’s smart device. The system provides the commander with the ability to send simple, predefined commands through intuitive tactile vibrations, to a single firefighter or a group. Furthermore, the firefighters will sense this information continuously on their skin which ensures a decreased cognitive load and an increased situational awareness.
The joint project will be conducted in Heinsberg, Germany and Utrecht, the Netherlands, and continued until spring 2018. Funding was granted by the EuroStars funding program.
Tactile Car Seat navigation at Ambulance trade show
(April 2 2016)
Elitac and Teijin Aramid presented tactile turn-by-turn navigation at the Ambulance trade show in Harderwijk on the 6th and 7th of April in the Axira Booth. The turn-by-turn navigation system guides drivers by gentle vibrations in their seat. This keeps a driver’s eyes on the road.
The system, which connects to existing CityGIS navigation software, provides distinct vibration patterns for all common navigation cues. Using a tactile feedback system leads lower mental effort ratings and reduces reaction.
A prototype was successfully tested in collaboration with the Ambulance regions of the Axira platform in the first quarter of 2016. Please contact Merijn Klarenbeek (email@example.com) for additional information or a demonstration. The tactile car seat navigation will also be presented at the eRIC in Twente.
Elitac presents the Mission Navigation Belt
(March 17 2015)
After 14 months of developments, Elitac presents the Mission Navigation Belt as outcome of the Defence Innovation Competition of 2013. The Mission Navigation Belt is a wearable under shirt with integrated vibration motors that can be used for waypoint navigation and covert communication. This information is presented intuitively and allows the user to react immediately in critical situations.
Defence Innovation Competition 2013
With the Defence Innovation Competition the Dutch army challenged SMEs to use their innovation, creativity and technology to improve the soldier performance during complex military operations. Elitac won in the competition with an idea to let the soldiers feel direction.