Inproceedings,

Loopsense: low-scale, unobtrusive, and minimally invasive knitted force sensors for multi-modal input, enabled by selective loop-meshing

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Proceedings of the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, page 1–17. New York, NY, USA, Association for Computing Machinery, (May 11, 2024)
DOI: 10.1145/3613904.3642528

Abstract

Integrating sensors into knitted input devices traditionally comes with considerable constraints for textile and UI design freedom. In this work, we demonstrate a novel, minimally invasive method for fabricating knitted sensors that overcomes this limitation. We integrate copper wire with piezoresistive enamel directly into the fabric using weft knitting to establish strain and pressure sensing cells that consist only of single pairs of intermeshed loops. The result is unobtrusive and potentially invisible, which provides tremendous latitude for visual and haptic design. Furthermore, we present several variations of stitch compositions, resulting in loop meshes that feature distinct response with respect to direction of exerting force. Utilizing this property, we are able to infer actuation modalities and considerably expand the device’s input space. In particular, we discern strain directions and surface pressure. Moreover, we provide an in-depth description of our fabrication method, and demonstrate our solution’s versatility on three exemplary use cases.

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