Somalytics bags $1.9M in seed funding to mass produce the world’s smallest nano-based capacitive sensor that can ‘feel’ human presence
Nanotechnology has been around for over half a century. American physicist and Nobel Prize laureate Richard Feynman first introduce the concept in 1959. More than six decades later, advances in nanotechnology are making it possible to develop tiny electronics embedded in the clothing we wear.
Now with new 3D gesture and sensor technologies, innovative startups have been able to develop new nano-based sensors that can ‘feel’ human presence. One of the leading companies in this space is a Seattle-based nanotech startup called Somalytics.
In May, Somalytics unveiled SomaControl, the first-of-its-kind 3D gesture monitor for gaming, and the SmartSense 3D floor mat that detects human foot, gait, and balance to protect at-risk people at home. The new 1mm paper sensors “feel” human presence and are virtually invisible.
Somalytics sensors are a major breakthrough for the nanotechnology industry, creating a new genre of gesture-based digital interfaces, wellness monitoring, and safety applications.
Today, Somalytics announced it has raised $1.9 milling in seed funding led by hard science investment firm IP Group Inc. with support from WRF Capital. IP Group provided the initial investment for Somalytics that helped launch the company last year out of CoMotion, the University of Washington’s collaborative innovation hub.
Somalytics will use the funding proceeds to mass-produce its miniature paper sensors. The startup expects to begin mass production of its unique sensors before the end of the year out of its new headquarters and manufacturing facility in Redmond, Washington, which it moved into in July.
Founded in 2021 by Jae-Hyun Chung, Vigneshwar Sakthivelpathi, and Zhongjie Qian, Somalytics develops miniature sensors for eye tracking, human-machine interface, wearables, and industrial safety. It’s the world’s first paper-thin composite capacitive sensor. It consumes little power, and can potentially be disposable.
“We deeply appreciate the continuing confidence and support from IP Group and are thrilled to welcome WRF Capital to our investor team,” said Barbara Barclay, CEO of Somalytics. “We have made such incredible progress since our launch in November. This support will expedite our move to mass manufacturing as well as our continuing research and development efforts and team growth. We look forward to seeing what incredible new products will be created using our sensors for a wide variety of markets.”
Somalytics’ patent-pending carbon-nanotube paper composite (CPC™) capacitive sensors establish a new sensor category and “feel” human presence at greater distances, revolutionizing human-machine interfaces and creating opportunities for developers to build new user experiences and strengthen industrial automation. Somalytics’ new eye, gesture, touch and fluid monitoring sensor technology is expected to transform categories such as eye tracking, consumer electronics, wellness monitoring, safety applications, the Internet of Things, health and wellness, and transportation.
“We are excited to support Somalytics and its development of unique nano-based capacitive sensors,” said Loretta Little, managing director at WRF Capital. “The advantages of lower cost manufacturability, low power consumption, and increased sensitivity expand their value across industries and applications.”