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August 20, 2014

How to transform your clothes into activity trackers

Spanning a millimetre across, new accelerometers from mCube are said to be accurate, power-efficient and economical.

By CBR Staff Writer

US-based mCube has developed a new type of accelerometer, which it claims could be integrated into clothing, cell phones and sports equipment, to keep track of all your activities.

Spanning a millimetre across, less than half the size of traditional ones, the new accelerometers are said to be more accurate, more power-efficient and economical too.

mCube CEO Ben Lee told the MIT Technology Review: "You could embed it into your clothing so that you don’t even know it’s there.

"You could put them in your golf shirt and pants, so immediately after you swing you can get an analysis on your smartphone."

Accelerometers integrate two chips including a mechanical device that senses movement, and the other making sense of the signal generated from the first chip, further making exceptionally accurate by offering a cleaner signal.

The company claims that the new accelerometer can also replace a gyroscope in a smartphone, bringing enhanced motion-sensing capabilities even to low-priced smartphones, some of which even lack gyroscopes.

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About 70 million of these tiny chips have already been shipped to Chinese electronics makers for integration into smartphones.

mCube has recently completed a funding round and raised $37m, with further plans to broaden production and spread out to other markets.

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