Skip to main content

New Zealand to Nottingham for smart fabric entrepreneur

Footfalls and Heartbeats’ revolutionary ‘intelligent textiles’ were further developed at the University of Nottingham’s Ingenuity Lab by New Zealand chemist, Simon McMaster.

When you think of wearable technology, you might imagine wires, miniature electronics or accessories. But Simon McMaster has been busy reimagining the next generation of wearable technology: fabric itself.

Simon crossed the world from his New Zealand base to continue his research here in Nottingham, the home of Nottingham Lace, weft knitting and an innovative and inspirational community of entrepreneurs on the University of Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus.

Footfalls and Heartbeats was ‘spun in’ to the University to enable Simon to work with Nottingham academics on optical sensor technology. Using nano-scale interactions within the textiles, he was able to make the fabric itself a sensor - avoiding the need for wires or miniature electronics.

Footfalls and heartbeats use specialist equipment to engineer their innovative smart fabrics

In collaboration with the University of Nottingham, Simon was able to develop world class textile technology with exciting possibilities. Compression bandages, wound care, injury rehabilitation, baby monitoring and performance monitoring textiles for top athletes are looming on the horizon.

Now employing more than a dozen people here in Nottingham, Footfalls and Heartbeats have grown out of their Ingenuity Lab base, and moved into the Innovation Building at BioCity, giving the growing team more space to house an expanded range of specialised machinery as the team get ready to launch their first smart textiles onto the market.

“Our aim is to develop smart fabrics that will help prevent injuries and health problems, which will minimise the number of people needing to go to hospital.”

Simon McMaster, Founder, Footfalls and Heartbeats.