Patrick Parzer1 Reinhard Schwödiauer2 Martin Kaltenbrunner2 Siegfried Bauer2 Michael Haller1

1, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Hagenberg, , Austria
2, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, , Austria

Over the last decades, there have been numerous efforts in developing wearable computing by using interactive textiles. Most of the related work focuses on integrating sensors for planar touch gestures, and thus do not fully take advantage of the flexible, deformable and tangible material properties of the textile. In this presentation, we describe the design and implementation of a tactile pressure-sensitive textile sensor used for next-generation clothing. We built a textile-based, tactile pressure sensor for measuring the pressure distribution on clothing. The resistive sensing approach of this sensor enables static pressure measurement within a range of 50g to 1000g and a sensor density of 1.66 sensors/inch2. This flexible, bi-directional stretchable, non-rigid sensor, which is indistinguishable from non-smart fabrics, consists of three layers of knitted fabric and allows easy integration. The developed measurement electronic and software platform enables real-time processing. Furthermore, we show how this sensor data is used as an enabler for interactions on clothing, which are beyond basic multitouch interactions. Based on the gesture detection algorithm we built, which uses learning-based algorithms, we are able to detect complex 2.5D deformation gestures like folding, twisting or stretching the fabric.
The developed technology platform marks first steps towards imperceptible textile interfaces in next-generation clothing.