Sensing motion of the human body is a difficult task. From an engineers’ perspective people are soft highly mobile
objects that move in and out of complex environments. As well as the technical challenge of sensing, concepts such as
comfort, social intrusion, usability, and aesthetics are paramount in determining whether someone will adopt a sensing
solution or not.
At the same time the demands for human body motion sensing are growing fast. Athletes want feedback on posture and
technique, consumers need new ways to interact with augmented reality devices, and healthcare providers wish to track
recovery of a patient.
Dielectric elastomer stretch sensors are ideal for bridging this gap. They are soft, flexible, and precise. They are low
power, lightweight, and can be easily mounted on the body or embedded into clothing. From a commercialisation point
of view stretch sensing is easier than actuation or generation - such sensors can be low voltage and integrated with
This paper takes a birds-eye view of the use of these sensors to measure human body motion. A holistic description of
sensor operation and guidelines for sensor design will be presented to help technologists and developers in the space.