Printed Electronics in SentiSock

7 May 2021

The SentiSock, is one of HUME’s sensors used to measure a person’s skin conductance. This is a unique application where electrodes and electronics are incorporated into a sock. To test and realize this concept, a collaboration with Metafas was started. Metafas is the specialist in printed electronics and has successfully carried out the industrial upscaling of the smart sock. The collaboration is indicative of the strength of the Brainport region.

According to Reon Smits, CTO of Mentech, the development possibilities are endless thanks to the collaboration with Metafas:

“By printing electrodes in the sock, the HUME seamlessly connects to the user requirements of the target group and we can measure stress accurately and reliably. In the future, we also want to look at the possibilities of printing electrodes in other garments such as a glove or t-shirt. Metafas is an excellent development and production partner so we can turn clothing into wearables.”

Hans van de Mortel, owner of Metafas, is also excited about the collaboration and possibilities for the future:

“Realizing innovation in practice is possible based on a groundbreaking idea and progressive partners. In Mentech we have found such a partner. With Mentech’s software and domain knowledge and our way of product development and production, together we can bring a new application to the market.”


Application in healthcare
The HUME with SentiSock is currently applied in care facilities for reducing escalations and understanding misunderstood behavior in long-term care for people with dementia or intellectual disabilities. It is often difficult for people with intellectual disabilities or dementia to express feelings. Thanks to the smart sock, these emotions can be measured and translated into useful information for the caregiver. In this way, the HUME helps to recognize the build-up of stress in clients at an early stage, for example in situations where the caregiver does not have a direct view of the client. This gives the care provider a handle on how to prevent behavioral escalation, for example. This is good for both the client and the caregiver!


Cooperation Brainport region         
Metafas has an excellent reputation in the field of industrial electronics printing. The challenge for the printed electronics in the sock was mainly in the durability and robustness during use. The ability to stretch the sock without breaking the electrodes, the intensive use and washability were important user requirements. The result of intensive testing and collaboration is a robust and producible design. The first socks are now in use and Mentech and Metafas have proven the power of collaboration within Brainport.


Metafas – Printed Electronics
Metafas is specialized in user interfacing and printed electronics. User interfacing is the “bridge between man and machine”; an international concept for front panels, membrane switch foils and touch screens. Printed electronics results from screen printing conductive tracks with silver ink onto which electronic components are glued. Combinations are then made between electrical insulating layers and electrically conductive layers on which silver ink is printed. This makes it possible to realize form-free electrodes on flexible surfaces. With other production techniques, the sensors can be processed into a semi-finished or complete end product. This makes it possible to make everyday objects, such as socks, ‘smarter’, as it were. Would you like to know more? Take a look at the website via this link.