Sensors Expo 2015: Hoffmann + Krippner membrane sensors put IoT at your fingertips

June 20, 2015 OpenSystems Media

Jens Kautzor, CEO of Germany-based Hoffmann + Krippner, not only offered me an outlet to charge my phone, but opened my eyes to the limitless possibilities of membrane sensors in the Internet of Things (IoT).

Hoffmann + Krippner is a more than 40 year old company that has focused on industrial position sensors, but recently they have begun applying that expertise to foil membrane technology that is applicable in almost every industry. Through their SensoInk and SensoFoil product lines, Hoffmann + Krippner has been able to build low-power, small form factor position sensors that can be used, for example, in retail inventory settings. Shown here is a shrinkage use case where thin film SensoInk sensors are able to not only report that an item (in this case, Altoids) have been removed from inventory, but are can also be integrated into a system that issues an audio or visual message to thank customers or deter thieves.

[Figure 1 | The Hoffmann + Krippner SensoInk and SensoFoil product lines can be leveraged in a range of position sensing applications, from retail inventory to loss prevention, without consuming excess space or power.]

To date, Hoffmann + Krippner’s membrane foil technology has primarily manufactured in geometric squares, but the flexibility of the sensor substrate allows it to be constructed in all manner of shapes and sizes. Looking to another example application, Guttersberg Consulting has partnered with Hoffmann + Krippner to implement foil membrane technology in automotive, where pressure and capacitive touch sensors can be positioned at various points around a steering wheel to monitor driver awareness and/or provide quick touch “buttons” for app access.

[Figure 2 | Membrane foil sensors are also applicable in automotive applications, where capacitive touch and pressure sensors can be put to use for driver awareness monitoring or for easy application access.]

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Brandon Lewis, Technology Editor
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