NEW YORK, April 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Nextiles, a textile manufacturing start-up supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are entering the sports and performance market to provide smart wire technology that captures biometric and biomechanical data. Coming from academia, Nextiles was founded in 2018 when George Sun, an engineer in biology and electricity by training, was completing his doctorate in biomaterials at MIT. While attending MIT’s Media Lab, Sun was recruited to lead PUMA’s integrated engineering team, with a focus on integrating sensors into footwear. Through his work, he was inspired to recreate the sensor industry and provide a superior form factor by developing a now patented technique for sewing sensors directly into fabric. In its early stages of development, Nextiles was recognized and awarded by MIT for funding further optimization of smart fabric technology and was also selected to go through MIT’s Accelerator Program, Delta-V and finally join the Newlab community in Brooklyn.
Behind the science, Nextiles combines traditional sewing techniques with circuit boards to make a flexible material with sensors embedded in fabrics, such as your everyday sportswear. Through its patent-protected manufacturing process, Nextiles fabrics enable full biomechanical and biometric detection captured on a single platform – no awkward straps, rings, wraps or accessories that only capture partial data. Nextiles takes advantage of the use of traditional sewing machines and common threads, such as nylon or elastane. The wires used are semiconductors, which measure mechanical changes from multiple data points. Nextiles differentiates its data analysis suite by providing Newtonian measurements across its tissues (strength, flexion, stretch, speed, pressure) to provide athletes and teams with data such as torque, power, fatigue, constraint and much more. The fabric also captures traditional measurements by combining force data with IMU technology (direction, speed, distance). Nextiles provides customers with APIs and SDKs to stream data over Bluetooth in real time and offers the ability to store data locally and in the cloud.
Nextiles is headquartered in New York City, where the Garment District once thrived. Inspired to fuel innovation in fabric and sewing, Sun moved headquarters to Brooklyn’s Navy Yard after being recruited by Newlab, which is home to more than 150 cutting-edge technology-focused companies and more than 800 entrepreneurs, inventors and engineers. Newlab approached Sun to join and reinvigorate the textile industry by innovating locally. The factory, which was a Navy Yard building during WWI and WWII, is now home to Nextiles’ core engineering team. Nextiles also has a cutting and sewing studio in New Jersey as well as an award-winning industrial design team based in Manhattan.
âModern sewing technology is almost 2,000 years old, but the industry for the past decades has been overlooked because our company believes we have maximized its utility,â said George Sun, CEO of Nextiles. âHowever, at Nextiles, we are reigniting textile innovation, and more importantly, in what was once the couture capital of the world, New York. One of the reasons we value fabrics over traditional PCB technologies is our philosophy of bottom-up construction – wire by wire. Our industry coveted smartphones so much that we just wore them as watches and bracelets. Rather, we should instead bestow such powers on what we know best. Revolutionize our clothes, instead of miniaturizing computer chips, by using the latest generation and proven textile materials. “
While Nextiles uses clothing as its first platform, the company sees broad technology applications and works with several OEMs in various industries, such as automotive, military and fitness.
âWe’ve seen our technology fit into more than just apparel, but as solutions for a variety of interrelated industries,â Sun continued. âIf it can be sewn, it can be smart. To date, we have several ongoing projects and collaborations in athletic performance quantifying movement that would otherwise be impossible with camera vision or accelerometers, as we literally form ourselves around the 3D complexities of human movement. Along with this, we have also seen the interest of OEMs in increasing their current product offerings by taking their non-essential products and pushing them into the world of IoT. I am excited to share this technology with our manufacturers and sports partners as there is an internal gratification within our team when someone can own their own data through their own clothing.
In 2020, Nextiles completed its funding round, led by its first investor, MIT. The rest include a diverse group of strategic individual investors who are senior executives from multiple industries such as sports, media, retail, medicine, technology, finance and professional athletes. âWe are extremely grateful to have welcomed several individual investors from diverse backgrounds with incredible experience and networks who all share our vision for a more connected future. The diversity of our cap table reflects the diversity of our technology and we look forward to innovating alongside current and future partners in a variety of industries, âsaid John Peters, Chief Commercial Officer of Nextiles.
For more information on Nextiles, visit: www.nextiles.tech
Founded in 2018, Nextiles is an innovative materials science and manufacturing company that develops custom fabric-based sensors to capture biometric and biomechanical data. Supported by MIT where the idea was born, Nextiles is reinventing the way people connect, interact and interact with their environment. Based in Brooklyn, New York, Nextiles is redefining modern sewing capabilities to incorporate smart fabrics across multiple industries including athletics, connected fitness, automotive, medical and more.
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