Micropoint's Bend Sensor Anticipates Needs and Concerns
19 January 1999
Micropoint's Bend Sensor Anticipates Needs and Concerns Expressed by Major Automakers At North American International Auto Show
SALT LAKE CITY--Jan. 19, 1999--
Bend Sensor(R) Occupant Detection System provides
a solution to the performance problems of incorporating
strictly weight-based sensor systems into smart airbag technology
The Micropoint (MICP - news) Occupant Detection System, with its pattern recognition capability, alleviates industry concerns and issues associated with other weight-based suppression systems.
While automakers acknowledge that weight is an important criteria in determining the appropriate deployment decision for an airbag, tests have shown that weight alone is not an adequate determinant.
At the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Fred Heiler, a spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz, was quoted by the Associated Press as expressing industry concerns that "a heavy child in a car seat that's tightly cinched in could trick the (seat weight) sensors into thinking an adult was riding there."
Heiler is correct that a strictly weight-based sensor can be tricked. To solve this problem, Micropoint Inc., through its operating subsidiary Flexpoint Inc., has developed a system capable of measuring both weight and pattern.
Micropoint's Bend Sensor(R) Occupant Detection System, being developed for use in smart airbags to be manufactured for a major worldwide automaker, will play a critical role in a smart airbag system.
"The Bend Sensor(R) system uses a combination of weight sensing and pattern recognition to produce a consistently accurate profile of a seat's occupant," said Doug Odom, Micropoint's president and chief executive officer.
"Whether the seat is occupied by an adult, a child, a car seat or a bag of groceries, the Bend Sensor(R) will distinguish the occupant's configuration and trigger an appropriate system response," said Odom.
"What this pattern recognition means," said Odom "is that even a heavy child tightly strapped into a car seat will register in the system as a child's car seat, and the airbag will be suppressed."
In tests to-date, Micropoint's Bend Sensor(R) system has demonstrated the ability to accurately determine whether the airbag system should suppress or deploy a passenger's side airbag.
"We feel that this technology is a step-ahead of anything that is currently competing in the market," said Odom.
Micropoint is continuing to scale-up for production of its Bend Sensor(R) mats.
Micropoint's unique Bend Sensor(R) device measures a predictable change in electrical resistance as it is deflected. It is capable of precisely measuring minute to very large changes in position. Flexible and self-contained Bend Sensor(R) technology can provide an ideal solution to problems associated with numerous applications requiring accurate sensing devices in many industries.
The Bend Sensor(R) is thinner, lighter, longer-lived, more reliable and more cost-effective than many previous devices in the sensor industry.
Through its operating subsidiary Flexpoint Inc., Micropoint designs, manufactures and markets flexible Bend Sensor(R) technology for various industries, including the automotive, medical, industrial and toy industries. Micropoint's stock is traded under the symbol MICP.
Forward looking statements in this release involve a number of risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, product demand, market acceptance, government regulation, changing economic conditions, risks in product and technology development, the effect of the company's accounting policies and other risk factors detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.