Wearable tech company StretchSense Makes A Hollywood Comeback

Things were looking bleak for wearable tech company StretchSense last July, as the Auckland, New...

Photo credit: StretchSense

Things were looking bleak for wearable tech company StretchSense last July, as the Auckland, New Zealand-based startup was put into voluntary liquidation. The company laid off 140 staff when Japanese e-commerce giant Start Today terminated its takeover agreement.

Read more: StretchSense, Maker Of Stretch Sensor Motion Capture Glove Acquires US Company MocapNow

But soon after, New Zealand venture capital fund GD1 bought the company for several million.

Now, StretchSense has re-emerged, with its sights set on Hollywood and the gaming industry.

Co-founder Ben O’Brien said when looking at what to do next, Stretch Sense found a gap in the market for motion capture gloves for animators in the film and gaming industries, reports Stuff.

The company started out with a focus on developing tech to measure body movement, particularly valuable for tracking athletes' performance, coaching and rehabilitation.

“There is a significant need in the film, gaming and animation industries for motion capture gloves that accurately capture hands and fingers,” O’Brien told Stuff.

The company’s MoCap Pro motion capture gloves use unique stretch sensors and artificial intelligence to deliver very high-quality mocap with minimal clean up required.

Unaffected by shock, drift, occlusion, or magnetic interference: you can rely on a stable hand performance from our gloves on set.

The glove management software Hand Engine streams directly into MotionBuilder, Unity, and Unreal Engine.

Stretch Sense has about 35 employees, some of whom were previous employees of the company that were laid off. The company is now planning to hire 15 more employees, particularly software engineers, product developers and garment makers.

Read more: This Smart Glove Interprets Sign Language In Real Time

Looking past the pandemic, to grow New Zealand’s technology export sector, the country needs greater Government investment and simply, more businesses, O’Brien said.

Next year StretchSense plans to do a Series B investment round with the ambition to raise $20 million to grow and expand the business.

Sam Draper
November 2, 2020

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