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11 November 2008


Micromem signs magnetic sensor JDAs technology for keyboard and mining applications

Micromem Applied Sensor Technologies Inc (MASTInc) of New York, NY, USA, a US subsidiary of Micromem Technologies Inc of Toronto, Canada, has signed a joint development agreement (JDA) for collaborative research to integrate and deploy its GaAs-based Hall-effect magnetic sensor technology into the patented washable keyboard technology of Unotron Ltd, the originator of the first medical-grade washable keyboard. MASTInc’s magnetic sensors are in the first stage of development by Unotron.

“The sensitivity and size of MASTInc’s magnetic sensor holds tremendous promise for Unotron to enhance product performance and impact cost-efficiency,” says Unotron’s director Joseph H. Carabello. “Additionally, MASTInc has developed an advanced manufacturing solution that will provide significant cost savings in manufacturing this advanced type of input device,” he adds.

Unotron’s SpillSeal product line is designed to be easily cleaned and disinfected to minimize risk and maximize user safety. The ability of the keyboards to be thoroughly washed and sterilized without loss in functionality helps to reduce the spread of life-threatening bacteria and viruses that thrive in healthcare environments, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Unotron’s Germstopper SpillSeal product line of washable-corded keyboards was launched recently for the healthcare industry.

“Unotron is an important product development partner for MASTInc as we expand our vast knowledge of the magnetic field for use in the sensory market,” says MASTInc's president Steven Van Fleet. “Its product solution provides a robust alternative to conventional keyboards in terms of reliability and cost, allowing the electronic components to be completely sealed. This provides a significant market opportunity for both companies and validates the efficiencies that our technology brings to the manufacturing process,” he adds.

“Unotron is a leader in the keyboard manufacturing business and a significant partner for us,” says Micromem's CEO Joseph Fuda. “We look forward to applying the cost and technological efficiencies of our sensors to a new range of Unotron products,” he adds.

“Steven Van Fleet and his business development team are making significant headway with companies that have large-scale capabilities,” Fulda continues. “As Micromem transitions from R&D to sales and marketing, we anticipate similar contracts.”

Micromem, through MASTInc, has also signed a JDA with a private Canadian mining exploration company to explore integrating MASTInc’s magnetic sensing technology into a mining sensor for gold and other precious metals.

The partnership aims to improve the performance of drilling operations, reduce drilling and assay analysis cost, and radically change the mining exploration model. The two companies will perform extensive sensor ‘training’ and signature database development using the exploration company’s access to an assayed core database compiled from several different mining exploration projects.

“The size of this core database will ultimately be a huge advantage for MASTInc, as the bigger the library we create, the higher the performance and capabilities our device will have,” believes Van Fleet. “Our technology uses a very fast, low-powered sensor array that offers a unique solution to dramatically improve the approach to mineral and natural resource exploration,” he claims. “The sensitivity of our advanced technology will provide a significant improvement, potentially allowing mining companies to ‘see’ more than the current exploration technology used throughout the industry today.”

See related items:

Micromem ships first production-level GaAs Hall sensor for client testing

Micromem makes first fully functioning MRAM cells

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