Google Research

StretchEBand: Enabling Fabric-Based Interactions through Rapid Fabrication of Textile Stretch Sensors

  • Anita Vogl
  • Patrick Parzer
  • Teo Babic
  • Joanne Leong
  • Alex Olwal
  • Michael Haller
Proceedings of CHI 2017 (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), ACM, pp. 2617-2627

Abstract

The increased interest in interactive soft materials, such as smart clothing and responsive furniture, means that there is a need for flexible and deformable electronics. In this paper, we focus on stitch-based elastic sensors, which have the benefit of being manufacturable with textile craft tools that have been used in homes for centuries. We contribute to the understanding of stitch-based stretch sensors through four experiments and one user study that investigate conductive yarns from textile and technical perspectives, and analyze the impact of different stitch types and parameters. The insights informed our design of new stretch-based interaction techniques that emphasize eyes-free or causal interactions. We demonstrate with StretchEBand how soft, continuous sensors can be rapidly fabricated with different parameters and capabilities to support interaction with a wide range of performance requirements across wearables, mobile devices, clothing, furniture, and toys.

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