Meet The Team
Hi! We are an enthusiastic team of five students from the Eindhoven University of Technology, of which only one is experienced in hackathons. We have backgrounds in psychology, sustainability, business information systems and software science. After a very long and intensive brainstorm session with all five of us, we divided tasks depending on our talents. Menno focussed on creating our app, Bert focussed on creating our logo and preparing the pitch, while Evelien, Juultje, and Nienke concentrated on the design of the e-Sense garment, the stakeholder analysis and some more elaboration on our concept.
We beelieve in carefree sporting with prevention of injuries! We are super enthusiastic about all of the possibilities that 2050 will bring to us and we really hope we can play a small role in the impact of technology.
What it does
e-Sense is sports gear that supports athletes in both a physical and a statistical manner. This one-size-fits-all smart clothing piece focuses on the prevention of injuries. Crucial body measurements for sporting are collected by different types of sensors, embedded in the garment. Measured and monitored by e-Sense are muscle contraction, posture, sweat (dehydration/electrolyte deficiencies), acidification of muscles (by measuring O2 transported by hemoglobin), heart rate, body temperature, and environment temperature.
Whenever e-Sense notices that someone is sporting in a way that will be hurtful, the stretching characteristics of the pants can make sure that extra pressure is put on the right spot immediately. This prevents real injuries. e-Sense can be easily connected to an app on your smartphone via near-field communication. When you hold your smartphone close to the NFC-tag in the e-Sense garment, the e-Sense app will be started automatically and your Bluetooth connection will turn on. On the dashboard in the app, you can fill in the distance you want to perform your sports. The app calculates a suitable route for you, based on your previous sporting sessions. After a short calibration exercise, you’re ready to go, leaving your smartphone at home.
Are you a sports fanatic doing multiple sports? No problem! e-Sense detects which sport you are performing by sensing your body posture and movements while exercising. Thanks to the NFC, GPS and Bluetooth connections e-Sense has, no internet connection is needed to use this sports gear. This means you can even use e-Sense to exercise in the jungle or other remote sites. The sports gear measures body temperature and the temperature of the surrounding. In case of hypothermia or on the other hand overheating of the body, the fibers of fabric tightens up or expands to increase or decrease the loss of heat. At the end of your sporting session, when you arrive home, you again connect your smartphone to your e-Sense garment via NFC. Via the triggered Bluetooth connection the data of your sporting session is transferred to the e-Sense app on your smartphone. Advice will appear for your next sporting session as well as interesting body measurements during the just finished sporting session.
How we built it
e-Sense is a technology-driven innovation, which was designed especially for use in the year 2050. In collaboration with Holst Centre, an independent R&D center with experience in producing printed electro-circuits, we predict that in 32 years from now there will be textures available that fulfill the requirements of our e-Sense essential sports gear. This prediction is also based on our research on several sensors that measure bodily reactions and states.
In our research, we also made sure to cover all areas of sport as well as all regions of the human body that are often under stress during exercise. Common injuries, together with their related causes and solutions, were studied and implemented in the system. To make sure our e-Sense sports gear even covers extreme sports, two sports were examined in detail: running and ice skating.
Challenges we ran into
In the 32 hours of developing our concept and product, we have faced many challenges. Most of these have been solved, but there are still some challenges left for the future.
A challenge that we have spent quite a lot of time on, but in the end was solved successfully, is how to connect sportswear with the online platform. After some research, we have decided to use Near Field Communication in the form of a tag.
Furthermore, another challenge we solved, is how to store the data in our sportswear during the exercise itself. This means that a storage space should also be printed in the fabric of our sportswear.
Another challenge, which is quite common for sportswear, is that our sportswear should be machine washable after a workout session. We have not solved this challenge ourselves yet, but we believe that in 2050 there will be a technique available to arm the printed circuits against water and tumbling.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Of course, we are very proud of the entire product that we have delivered. But some aspects are worth mentioning in particular.
We started our 32-hour-challenge with a 14-hour brainstorm. We are very happy with our choice to spend this much time on brainstorming, because we believe that a good innovation starts with a good idea, and a good idea takes time. During our brainstorm we have run through several iterations of idea development and discussed our ideas and plans multiple times with a representative of Holst Centre. His feedback helped us in improving our product even more.
We also managed to build an app that clearly displays our innovation. We believe the app contributes a lot to the visual representation of our innovation and makes it possible to explain the product faster and more clearly. An aspect of our innovation that we’re especially proud of is it’s scalability. e-Sense can help and support many sporters with different sports, all over the world. We believe that this makes e-Sense an innovation with a big impact on the health of our future society.
What we learned
First of all, we have learned how to participate in a hackathon and what the process is of how to complete a challenge in the 32 hours we got.
A few hours of sleep a night appeared to be very important to stay productive and creative during the hackathon. Furthermore, we have learned that brainstorming is essential in developing a new innovation and that it is important to take more than enough time for this. People often tend to start making a product right away, but the idea, which is the basis of the product, is much more important.
We have also spent quite a lot of time on predicting what the world will look like in 2050, which required some creativity. We found out that a good start is finding out what is already there right now, and thinking out of the box.
What's next for e-sense
Next for e-Sense is a clothing brand with many different types of garments, next to the pants we designed. Furthermore, the following new features are needed to make e-Sense reality: -Perfection of the bending and stretching technologies for sustainability -Do more tests on clothing -Consult physiotherapists on how injuries are best prevented -Now it’s only pants but it can be a whole line of clothing -Make sure it’s either washable or removable -Constrive a way to adjust the density of a fabric while wearing