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Edward Shim: Studio 1 Labs Are Creators of ‘Touch’ Fabric Pressure Sensors

Studio 1 Labs are creators of ‘Touch’ Fabric Pressure Sensors. Electronics that can fold, function, and define moments how humans feel with touch. Our values are collaboration, credibility through scientific validation, and transparency through publication of research results.

Our current mission is to be the global standard for improved passenger safety through vehicle occupancy detection in automobiles, in preparation towards the future of Level 5 fully autonomous driving.

Tell us about yourself?

Studio 1 Labs founder Edward Shim is a Canadian-born Korean, patented inventor of the technology, and award-winning 2021 Best Executive in Canada.

Edward overlooks innovation development, relationship management across academic, industry, and government stakeholders, and commercialization strategies across a global network of partners.

Past experience of a critical chest injury led to developing a health monitoring solution via a bed sheet where patients only need to lay on the bed to have health monitored.

Also a former Canadian Army Veteran paratrooper and Humanitarian Award Recipient, Edward invented an extreme casualty solutions that notifies if there is malfunction in occluding blood loss from extremity trauma.

Also a representative of Canadian values, Edward leveraged his networks among global industry partners and political representatives, to allow export of medical materials to Canada at the onset of the Covid pandemic so that Canadian hospitals could receive Made in Canada health protective equipment.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Life was simpler believing in fairytale happy endings. With more responsibilities you begin to realize things are just previous versions of your reality, until the next iteration.

What problem does your business solve?

The current problem being solved is reducing the 50% of airbag injuries resulting from vehicle accidents. Vehicles face challenges in correctly identifying passenger body types such as a large or small passenger, or a human versus a baby seat.

Studio 1 Labs patented advanced fabric technology combines in a single sensor system, the ability to identify passenger parameters of:

  1. Various body types,
  2. Seat position of a passenger,
  3. Object versus a person (ex. baby seat), and
  4. Weight differential to improve passenger safety.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

With the global race towards Level 5 full automation of vehicles, personal experiences of injuries and trauma led initiatives to improving existing safety systems, and developing a future with advanced capabilities using the same resources.

This creates efficiencies of using one system for multiple solutions.

This is the trade-secret to Studio 1 Labs ability to pivot into various sectors simultaneously, such as health monitoring, automotive safety, robotic tactile sensing, and semiconductors for advanced electronic systems.

What is your magic sauce?

Patented fabric electronic technology provides electronics that bring “colour” to touch sensing, that is otherwise currently “binary” (On/Off, Black/White, 0/1, etc.).

Competing products and solutions use existing technologies such as plastic/printed electronics, where competitive advantage is limited to competitors using different applications or use of the same technologies.

Studio 1 Labs developed patented technology that improves capabilities in its own class, which has opened up opportunities to be perfect substitutes of existing parts in solutions used in medical devices, automotive parts, and robotic artificial skin.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

MOU signed with an automotive supplier in Korea for integrating the passenger safety solution into vehicles. Goal for the next 5 years is the target to equip 10 million vehicles with an enhanced safety solution for passengers, which currently does not exist today.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Startups always face challenges of being a small player in a big game. Large companies will always have more resources to improve what a startup has to offer.

However small companies are versatile and can act quickly on changing strategies, so concentration of resources focussed on controlling different pieces to a global world, including patents, supply chains, and government relations.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

Studio 1 Labs’ meaning of diversity, equity, and inclusion focuses on similarities in order to bridge differences. Positive outcomes will grow with current and future partners, as valuing collaboration will lead to innovation achievements.

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