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Body Wonders

 Concept, UX/UI / 2020 - 2021
Body Wonders is a designed (touch) experience to let people feel the potential of haptic feedback in smart clothing. What kind of messages, feelings, emotions can we evoke through touch? What is the potential of this unexplored sensorial dimension? What if we could feel information on our skin?

A collaboration with Pauline van Dongen & Adriaan de Man.
Commissioned by Baltan Laboratories for Holst Centre.




The goal was to create an accessible and fun smart clothing experience for the general audeince in order to enhance the understanding and inspire about future possibilities. Also, it had to serve as a tool for further research.
We started off with research into the sense of touch, neuroplasticity and existing and emerging haptic feedback technologies. To define the scope of the experience, we mapped down and categorised possible applications of the technology. 

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Research & define






We developed a concept of an 'open system’ experience for two where one participant (Receiver) wears the smart garment, and the other (Operator) interacts with it through an interface running on a tablet. The setting of the experience is a playful experiment, consisting of a series of ‘tests’ which require the collaboration of both participants. The experience provides space for an open-end exploration of novel sensations. It is possible through a smart garment containing multiple haptic motors positioned all over the upper body and arms to create a variety of vibrotactile patterns. The participants will explore how to communicate simple instruction through touch over distance, how to interpret stimuli and react to them. By doing so, they get to know the medium, learn its language and acquire a new tactile awareness.








User flow &
journey map ︎︎︎






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Prototype & test






Through a custom developed Max/MSP based interface, we experimented with the working and intensity of the motors’ vibrations and created various different vibrotactile ‘patterns’. Through research into existing literature and hands-on experiments, we defined positions of the motors on the body which felt comfortable or not, stimulating or relaxing, playful or dull.






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Interface 





We developed different scenarios of interaction through the interface. Later we synthesised them into several ‘tests’ which can be completed by the successful interaction of the two participants: the Operator who is navigating the experience through the interface (running on a tablet), and the Receiver who is wearing the vest.