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Matchbox marvel on a roll.

A piece of high-tech wizardry the size of a matchbox, developed by a West Midland firm, is poised to transform road safety, it was claimed.

The Piezotag is a battery-less electronic sensor that wirelessly transmits tyre pressures and temperatures to a vehicle's dashboard computer.

Legislation in the US demands that all vehicles have such sensors fitted during a phase-in period from November 1 2005 to October 31 2006.

With the European Union expected to follow suit, it adds up to a promising market for the company, Piezotag Ltd, which had developed the product with the help of funding from regional development agency Advantage West Midlands (AWM).

The company decided to move from Essex to Warwickshire to carry out research and development after a positive pledge of investment from the Advantage Early Growth Fund (AEGF), coupled with a group of private investors and support from the University of Warwick Science Park Investment Readiness Project and investment from their Concepts Fund.

The AEGF is part of the Access to Finance framework, supported by AWM, which has a pounds 30 million fund available to help small and medium-sized enterprises looking to access funding between pounds 10,000 and pounds 250,000.

Geoff Haswell, managing director of Pieztotag, said: 'This is an ingenious piece of electronics that creates a minute electrical charge created as a car wheel rotates - and it has far reaching implications for road safety. 'It's low cost, easy to install, recyclable and because the sensing frequency increases with speed, it can detect imminent temperature-related tyre blow-outs.The response from tyre manufacturers and car makers has been fantastic and we hope to be making the Piezotag inside the next two years - ideally with a manufacturer in the West Midlands.'
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 27, 2004
Words:287
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