Kiwi wearable technology start-up Footfalls & Heartbeats has signed a licensing deal with German medical company Medi for its compression sensor fabric.
Founder Simon McMaster, who has a degree in nanotechnology, took 10 years to develop the product, knitting conductive silver fibres into fabric to create a textile capable of measuring compression in bandaging and material, before setting up the business two years ago.
Managing director Roland Toder said bandages were often wrapped too tightly or not tight enough, and that the compression technology would allow a standard measure for bandaging.
"Our technology can be applied to a wide variety of textiles but for compression bandaging, it enables both practitioner and patient to provide consistency with compression when bandaging venous ulcers, one of the most common problems affecting the ageing population globally," Toder said.
He would not comment on the specifics of the deal other than to say that it was "significant" for the company.
"For us from an upfront payment as well as following royalties, this will generate a significant cashflow.
"And it will continue because the deal that we have closed is more or less the beginning of a broader collaboration and Medi have expressed interest in further expanding on the technology."
Toder said the deal was validation of the company's work and could be expanded into various other products in different sectors.
"It's fantastic to have that first big deal, but as important is that this is a great reality check for the world out there that this technology is not just a great idea on a research level," he said.
"If a company like Medi is picking that technology up and paying upfront payments without having actually touched it, and jointly developing the first prototype, that shows how convinced this huge company is."
Footfalls & Heartbeats said the next step would be to increase its licensing deals with key players in other markets, as well as raising more capital.
Matthias Leitloff, head of product management medical at Medi, said: "This licensing agreement accelerates our strong commitment to implement new smart textile technology into our medical compression therapy products, improving the ease of use and the efficacy of these products."