SmartSkin is an artificial touch-sensitive skin for electronic devices. Using nanotechnology to detect and measure pressure, the super-thin film works to give any surface the control of touch, much like the skin of a real hand. The company is currenty developing applications of their technology for a number of control devices, with its current focus on the bottling industry.
With several of the world's largest brewers signed on, Smart Skin Technologies provides a state-of-the-art system for measuring line pressure and 3D orientation in glass, can, PET, and many secondary and tertiary packaging lines. By embedding the Quantifeel™ DRONE into a line, the dynamic effect of pressure and movement exerted on the device can be observed in real-time and analyzed to understand the effect operational parameters have on line performance, improving efficiency, reducing wastage and minimizing downtime.
The core technology of Smart Skin was developed by NBIF researcher Felipe Chibante.
A 2009 winner of our Breakthru Business Plan Competition, they received additional capital by NBIF and other investors to help them develop their product for a major brewer's bottling system. The company also continues to develop its technology for one of the world's leading golf club manufacturers.
In 2013 NBIF invested an additional $250,000 in Smart Skin in part with a $3.9 million venture capital round to fuel its next stage of growth.
NBIF: What is different about Smart Skin compared to other products in the same space?
Kumaran: We make conformable sensors using our unique combinations of sensor material technology, electronics and software, we have a patented system to create novel sensors that can be used for example to measure grip pressure on a golf club.
NBIF: Tell me about that moment in time when you knew you were on to something new?
Kumaran: When Felipe Chibante and I were messing around in the lab with mixing nanomaterials into polymer systems and we hooked up a piece of silicone to a circuit with a light bulb and we could control the brightness by pressing on the polymer of plastic. We immediately realized that this incredible potential as a sensor technology.
NBIF: What is your dream for the company?
Kumaran: Generating Revenue, profitability through our current focus applications and entering 10 new markets in the next 5 years.