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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2016, Article ID 9391850, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/9391850
Research Article

Force Sensing Resistor and Evaluation of Technology for Wearable Body Pressure Sensing

Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Via Sommarive 18, 38123 Povo, Italy

Received 6 September 2015; Revised 13 January 2016; Accepted 17 January 2016

Academic Editor: Alberto J. Palma

Copyright © 2016 Davide Giovanelli and Elisabetta Farella. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Wearable technologies are gaining momentum and widespread diffusion. Thanks to devices such as activity trackers, in form of bracelets, watches, or anklets, the end-users are becoming more and more aware of their daily activity routine, posture, and training and can modify their motor-behavior. Activity trackers are prevalently based on inertial sensors such as accelerometers and gyroscopes. Loads we bear with us and the interface pressure they put on our body also affect posture. A contact interface pressure sensing wearable would be beneficial to complement inertial activity trackers. What is precluding force sensing resistors (FSR) to be the next best seller wearable? In this paper, we provide elements to answer this question. We build an FSR based on resistive material (Velostat) and printed conductive ink electrodes on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrate; we test its response to pressure in the range 0–2.7 kPa. We present a state-of-the-art review, filtered by the need to identify technologies adequate for wearables. We conclude that the repeatability is the major issue yet unsolved.