Garment field testing has been a process where people act as sensors, writing notes on testing activities, weather conditions and other details including usage of garment, wash cycles and even dryer rounds. However, people have different perceptions of weather, can forget important details and a lot of important data is lost in the process.
No more guesswork in field testing
W.L. Gore & Associates (Gore), known for waterproof-breathable GORE-TEX product technologies and a rigorous approach to sound science in research & development, has decided to remove all guesswork from field testing of their up and coming garments and textiles by using the internet and other advancements of modern technology. Gore started a collaboration with Haltian, with the goal of creating a new garment testing solution that gives accurate and comparable data of all field tests.
Haltian has created a complete solution that includes a new field test sensor called Thingsee Activity, a complete service of mobile and desktop applications to help meet the needs of Gore´s testing processes. Thingsee Activity is a small button-like sensor that can be attached to clothing to measure various data during the field tests. The device measures and logs temperature, humidity and test person activity for a period of 140 days. In addition to common activities, the device can also identify wash cycles and dryer cycles. After the field test cycle is complete the data is uploaded to a mobile device and forwarded to Gore field test service for analysis. This gives Gore an accurate data set for analysis and removes human error from the test processes. Additionally, the test personnel are required to do less manual reporting as the data is being automatically captured.
How we made the most accurate garment field testing solution in the world
The first thing we did was spread out our product portfolio in front of us and see what we could do with the tools we already have. We knew we had the components that measure temperature, humidity, steps and multiple other environmental aspects. We decided to make the Proof of Concept with the hardware we already had. There were a few challenges with the final design, though: the device had to be waterproof because the garments need to be washed but still be able to measure humidity, measure steps accurately regardless of its position on the body, have a 22-day battery life and, of course, be as small as possible.
Customized solution on top of our Thingsee platform
Gore is one of the great examples of Thingsee platform being used for different kinds of applications and unique customer needs.
“As a product leadership company, we invest time and energy into the testing of our products, not just in the lab but also in the field. We were looking for a way to collect data during GORE-TEX product field trials to be more objective, accurate and consistent. Haltian became the top choice when they showed that they understood our needs and gave early insights into what concrete solutions could look like. The Thingsee IoT platform was advanced enough that we did not have to start from scratch, yet flexible enough to accommodate all our unique needs. We have been using the finished system extensively in GORE-TEX product and technology development, with great results”, says Nicolas Poirette from Gore.
Another happy client!
In the end, Gore was more than happy about how the product and the software turned out. The device was smaller and more accurate than requested and some features performed better than anyone expected. For example, through a formal validation process, they found that the pedometer retained its accuracy regardless of its location on the body – useful when testing either footwear or jackets. Despite some challenges, we managed to stay within time limits and budget which obviously satisfied the customer.
Read the entire case study here.
Read the press release here.