Howel: A Soft Wearable with Dynamic Textile Patterns as an Ambient Display for Cardio Training


In-situ exploration of heart rate (HR) zones during cardio training (CT) is important for training efficiency. However, approaches for monitoring HR, either depend on complex visualizations on small screens (i.e., smart watches) or intrusive modalities (i.e. haptic, auditory) that might force the attention to the information. We developed an early prototype, Howel, a novel wrist-worn soft wearable to display HR zone information during CT. Our concept utilizes mapping information onto dynamic patterns (color changing stripes) as an easy-to-understand ambient display. In order to preserve non-intrusiveness, it uses non-emissive modality by heating up thermochromic paints on its textile surfaces. Early feedback from three participants suggest that soft wearables with non-emissive dynamic patterns have potential (1) to embed information organically on the body, (2) to give easy-to-understand in-situ intensity information and (3) to keep the attention on the exercise instead of performance measures.

Role: Concept Creator, Design Researcher, Hardware & Software Co-developer, Main Author.
Type: Late Breaking Work (Poster)
Conference: Extended Abstracts of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems [acceptance rate: %42.2, h5-index: 86]
Date: May, 2019
Co-Authors: Yavuz Ali Ekmekçioğlu, Fuat Balcı, Hakan Ürey, Oğuzhan Özcan

Link to Paper

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