Keynote at EuroHaptics Conference

From September 6-9 the EuroHaptics conference will take place in Leiden, The Netherlands. Eurohaptics is a major international conference on haptics and touch enabled computer applications, and the primary European meeting for researchers in this field. Hellen was approached for a keynote talk at this conference.

Keynote Title : Textiles as a medium for haptics – a designers perspective

Date : Monday 7 September (9:30- 10:30)

Abstract: We are (depending on lifestyle of course) in direct contact with textiles almost 24/7. Think about that, our skin is so used to being surrounded by shirts, blankets, towels, even most of our furniture is covered in textile.

These days most wearables are watches, and clip-on devices, solid, hard, and mostly placed in one specific spot. Especially for haptic feedback the using the textile itself opens a range of possibilities for a more embodied tactile experience. What if we could manipulate our textiles in such a way that they change state, what are the possibilities of that for future wearables?

As a textile & fashion designer I’ve worked on projects where the textile is thus engineered to adapt to circumstances and developed this into prototypes. From a posture coach, a wearable breathing trainer to a textile that responds to moisture. I’ll show examples of how textile can become 4D and this way be a medium for haptics.

As textiles are, next to our skin, our second home there’s further attention needed for the design; taking into account the use and culture that comes with such products. The way in which the potential user can relate to the product is not only a matter of how well it functions technically and how easy it is to use, but also on more subjective, and often underestimated matters, such as how well it represents the culture, style and position of the potential user. Therefore, the collaboration between technical and creative team members is essential to the success of prototypes or products.