Australia & New Zealand (03) 9540 5100

Pressure Mapping Technology and Its Applications

Pressure mapping technology is an existing technology that has been developed to become more user-friendly and cost-effective for a myriad of clinical and industrial applications. A pressure mapping system typically consists of built-in sensors arranged in a matrix configuration, shielded in a thin pad. The pad is then placed between two surfaces, such as underneath a person on a wheelchair cushion, to evaluate the pressure exerted by the person in a seated position. The results are displayed in a pseudo-color display, which can be used to design the cushion to achieve the maximum comfort level, in this scenario.

The ease of applying pressure mapping technology in R&D and innovations field allow industries to solve application challenges that encompass product design, ergonomic evaluation, clinical diagnostics, and many more.

The Mechanics of Pressure Mapping Technology

At its core, a complete pressure mapping system consists of sensors, electronics, and software systems.

The sensing grid is a network of high-resolution sensors arranged in a matrix configuration; each can be customized with different shapes, sizes, and pressure ranges to meet specific requirements. Generally, each sensor has thousands of sensing points which are highly sensitive and can detect minute changes in pressure, generating a detailed map visually representing pressure distribution and magnitude.

Users can view real-time measurements as data can be instantly transferred to the PC via USB or wireless. The software can display data in multiple formats and provide 2D and 3D pressure maps. The superior capability allows for versatility in R&D and product design applications. For example, users can identify where the center of force or peak pressure occurs, and use this information to optimize their product design.

Other Pressure Mapping Technology

A pressure mapping system is an innovative technology that measures force and peak pressure between two contacting surfaces simultaneously. It is a minimally invasive technology that allows the user to analyze real-time data. How does it compare to other technology for similar applications?

Load Cells

Conventionally, a load cell can measure how weight, strain and force are distributed across the contact surface. It can accurately measure force on a single sensing point. For pressure mapping applications, multiple load cells are required to construct a pressure distribution measurement, which may not be convenient due to the requirement of extensive cabling and multiple data acquisition.

Pressure Film

Pressure film is an easy-to-use measurement system to capture pressure distribution and peak pressure during testing. However, it does not indicate when the peak pressure occurs during the testing process and cannot be pre-calibrated.

Key Applications of Pressure Mapping Technology

The versatility of pressure mapping technology is evident in its wide range of industrial applications. It is equally important for engineers to understand their testing requirements, which helps them to utilize the pressure mapping system with maximum benefits.

Mattress Design and Fitting

On average, people spend one-third of their day sleeping. The choice of mattress includes soft mattress, plush mattress or ultra firm mattress, depending on the customers. Choosing the wrong type of mattress for your body may put additional pressure on the spine and result in back, neck, or shoulder pain.  Therefore, it is essential to have a best-fit mattress that conforms to their body shape to ensure that they can recuperate well.

The pressure mapping system scientifically evaluates pressure distribution and pressure magnitude between the customer and the mattress surface. Medical specialists can also use this system to prevent pressure ulcers or pressure sores in bedridden patients.


Design of Ergonomic Furnitures

One of the most significant impacts of pressure mapping technology is product design and quality assurance. By understanding how a product interacts with its user, ergonomic product designers can innovate products that are more comfortable and effective for their intended use. This is particularly evident in the design of ergonomic office furniture, where a pressure mapping system ensures that chairs and work surfaces promote good posture and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.

Sport Science and Diagnostics

In the medical field, pressure mapping technology is a cornerstone for breakthroughs in clinical diagnostics. It provides invaluable insights into gait analysis and foot pressure distribution, crucial for designing effective orthopedic supports and rehabilitating patients with mobility issues. It can also provide insights when fitting new running shoes in the store for better support and minimizing injury risk. Moreover, it plays a critical role in surgical planning and the design of prosthetics, ensuring that these medical interventions are customised to meet the specific needs of patients.

The application of pressure mapping technology in sports science underscores its role in enhancing athletic performance. By analysing the pressure athletes exert during various activities, coaches and sports scientists can devise training regimens that optimise performance while reducing the risk of injury. This technology also enables sports teams to customize equipment tailored to the unique biomechanics of each athlete.

Our Products

At Bestech, we provide the pressure mapping system from Tactilus that allows the user to capture and record pressure distribution between the two contacting surfaces in real-time. The Tactilus systems are designed with conductive textiles that can conform to curved surfaces and stretch to alleviate shearing forces that might occur by moving the two contact surfaces.

Pressure mapping technology embodies the intersection of innovation and practicality, offering profound benefits across a spectrum of fields. Its ability to provide detailed insights into pressure distribution has opened new horizons in product design, healthcare, and sports science. As technology evolves, so too will the applications of pressure mapping, continuing to impact lives and industries in meaningful ways.