AI x Textile Sensing

We demonstrate how to reduce sensor data inconsistencies of knitted strain sensors, using a low-scale, computationally inexpensive, Artificial Neural Network. As features, we use raw sensor data that is temporally smoothed using a set of different smoothing factors.


Twill-Based Knitted Sensors

We systematically optimized the performance of Twill-based knitted strain sensors by studying optimizing knitting structure and material composition. We modified stitch settings, thread count, and knit meshing. Furthermore, we improvement elastic recoil and reduced wear-out effects by adding Lycra to the substrate yarn.



We present a design for knitted tactile UI elements, that are soft, compressible, and stretchable. They sense pressure with high sensitivity and responsiveness. Using a regular flatbad knitting machine, the multi-component elements are fabricated ready-made, without requiring any postprocessing.


Knitted Force Sensors

By combining regular yarn with electrically conductive and resistive yarn, we can create force sensors that are made of 100% textile material. The resulting material is able to detect arbitrary external force, such as strain and pressure, and can be fabricated using a variety of knit structures and patterns.



To be able to adjust and iterate quickly, we implemented a tool for rapid prototyping of data processing pipelines using a UI for visual programming. Even though it was created to streamline our research into textile based sensing, it is highly versatile, can be used for arbitrary scenarios, and already supports numerous protocols and data sources.


Sensing Textiles

We created several custom hardware solutions that are especially tailored for our textile sensors. Our PCB solutions focus on scalability and modularity to achieve devices that are still general-purpose and can be used across different use case scenarios.



We have countless ideas of what an ideal future could look like but often fall short in bringing those to the real world. In fiction, the preconditions upon which a utopia can be built are malleable, making any imagined future a possible scenario.What if we would create a desirable future with the same creative audacity of fiction but with the preconditions and rules of the real world?


Improvised Technology

We’ve invited a local improvisational performer Flo Amar to make an impro theatre about robots. Our brief was “People who act as people interact with people who act as technology.”


Generative Knitting

Knitting hardware and software are highly optimized for mass-production and require considerable operating experience and training. We develop tools and scripts for simplifying access to knitting technology for novices, DIY tinkerers, and HCI researchers that come from an CS area, like ourselves. Building on-top of pre-existing platforms, we focus on generating knit that can serve as UI devices.


In BAMBI, we use camera-equipped UAVs to capture video data of infrared and visible light to monitor animals in the wild. The objective is to analyze wildlife populations to identify impending ecological issues, such as overpopulation or loss of biodiversity, on a long-term scale. We apply Machine Learning models for automatic identification and analysis. Therefore, we explore interaction methods for handling multi-modal data. In particular, we are investigating methods for annotation and reporting.

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Affordances of Textile Elements

Interaction with smart textiles has huge potential for making interacting with new technology more seamless, as textiles are comfortable and also quite familiar. In this work, we explore the design space for communicating surface gestures to users of textile interfaces by experimenting with the interfaces’ physical design and affordances. We reflect on a number of samples that were created based on the aspects of design, fabrication, and sensing.


TexYZ: 3DOF Textile Multitouch

TexYZ is a method for creating capacitive multitouch sensor on textile basis, which can be implemented using a commodity embroidery machine. We use publicly available enameled copper wire as a bobbin thread to form a matrix of capacitors on the backside of the fabric, while the front threads are holding the patterns in place. The textile’s front has an appealing haptic quality and can act as a visual cue for interaction.TexYZ is using a mutual capacitive sensing technique, meaning it can handle multitouch without showing ghosting effects, which is a central limitation to previous textile touch sensors.


Sonoflex: Embroidered Speakers

Sonoflex is a flexible, textile dynamic speaker made without using a permanent magnet. Our design consists of two flat spiral coils, stacked on top of each other, and is based on an isolated, thin enameled copper wire. Our approach allows for thin, lightweight, and flexible embroidered devices and does not require high voltage as in electrostatic speakers. We show how Sonoflex can be designed and fabricated, and evaluate its acoustic properties with respect to manufacturing parameters, such as size, turn counts, turn spacing, and substrate materials. We are able to produce audible sound with a broad frequency range of 1.5 kHz – 20 kHz with a 50 mm diameter implementation.


Knitted RESi

Knitted RESi is a knit textile capable of sensing external stress, via a force sensing technical yarn. It can sense pressure, stretch, and any other deformation. Our demonstrator provides live feedback and visualization of the sensor readings. The textile is highly durable and strikingly responsive with little signal-to-noise ratio. It features inherent favorable properties of textiles, e.g. it is lightweight, highly flexible, comfortable on skin, and breathable.


Sound of Textile

Humans tend to touch surfaces out of curiosity about their tactile properties and persist in case of a pleasant response. An example is petting a cat. It looks pleasant to touch and when the cat’s response is positive (by purring) and a causal relation to the interaction is obvious, the interaction carries on. This connection is also true for the opposite, as rejecting feedback is uninviting. Inspired by observations like these, the installation The Sound of Textile links textiles’ haptic properties to sound, in order to engage with the visitor and generate an effect similar to synesthesia. The installation demonstrates seven textiles with unique tactile properties and according sonic experiences. The objective is to explore humans’ reactions to different features and their combinations.


Embroidered FSR Sensors

We create pressure sensors, which are made of 100% textile components and work just like common FSR (Force-Sensing Resistor) sensors. Using an ordinary embroidery machine, our sensors can be rapidly applied to numerous pre-existing fabrics, in arbitrary shape and scale. Just as print FSR, they are straightforward to use in combination with basic readout electronics. We also developed a custom PCB, which can be attached directly onto the augmented fabric. Even wiring for connecting the PCB to sensors is done using textile materials, by embroidering the respective circuit paths. We can also link several sensors for building pressure sensitive configurations with high flexibility.


Designing Textile Interfaces

As smart textiles are becoming more present in our lives, investigating and designing textile interfaces has started getting more and more attention. Still, very little research has been done on how to design interactive elements for non-wearable textile interfaces for the best recognition, perception, and interaction. In this paper, we present initial assumptions for designing such interfaces, which we derived from working intensively with our partners from the industry. These have been further explored with experts from the field during interviews, and finally tested in a user study. As a conclusion of the study, we define five design recommendations for textile interfaces and present several prototypes that demonstrate them in practice.


In FLASHED, we will discover a new technology in the field of flexible displays. A major problem of flexible displays is still the lack of interactivity, because none of the market-ready touch solutions are flexible (bendable). Therefore, one major goal of FLASHED is the development of novel, flexible touchscreen solutions, covering aspects like cost-effectiveness (all-printed), sustainability (material recycling and end-of-life disposal) and energy-efficiency (self-sustaining sensor arrays). Moreover, the FLASHED project puts strong emphasis on user-friendly interfaces. The FLASHED device itself consists of a flexible display, a touchscreen layer based on a pressure sensing touch array (utilizing ferroelectric polymers) and a haptic/acoustic feedback layer based on a relaxor ferrolectric material.

Active Office

To promote physical activity at the workplace, we suggest a paradigm shift in workplace design towards an integrated activity-promoting environment that supports the adoption of a physically active office workflow. Our design concept involves an ergonomically designed workspace that integrates traditional office furniture with elements such as active seats, height-adjustable standing desks, and whiteboards to form an interconnected workplace ennvironment. Furthermore, office furniture is smoothly integrated with hardware-related structural elements such as desktop computers, notebooks, tablets, or large-scale interactive surfaces that extend the design with media support. Based that, the goal of the Active Office is then, to motivate users to draw full benefit from the provided structure. Consequently, we encourage the adoption a new way of working “in-motion” characterized by regular switches between different tasks, workstations, and postures.


Situation awareness is essential to the decision making process in the emergency response and control setting. Situation maps used for planning and decision making are fundamental to correct and complete situation awareness, and the maps have to fulfill requirements of various emergency cases. Moreover, operators often need to coordinate rescue squads from different organizational units on varying levels of detail. Based on these requirements, a highly flexible and dynamic situation map that provides both overview and enough level of detail is needed. However, the analog or static situation maps, that are currently prevalent, do not support these requirements well. Therefore, a new interactive situation map needs to be established. With new design metaphors (space and furniture design) and interaction techniques (Natural User Interface), the work efficiency and situation awareness within emergency control centers would be improved.


The eGlasses project is focused on the development of an open platform in the form of multisensory electronic glasses and on the integration and designing of new intelligent interaction methods using the eGlasses platform. This is an initial development focused on long-term research and technological innovation in perceptual and super-perceptual (e.g. heart rate, temperature) computing. It is an emerging technology that is also focused on the creation of mobile, perceptual media. Perceptual media refers to multimedia devices with added perceptual user interface capabilities. These devices integrate human-like perceptual awareness of the environment, with the ability to respond appropriately. The platform will use currently available user-interaction methods, new methods developed in the framework of this project (e.g. a haptic interface) and will enable further extensions to introduce next generation user-interaction algorithms.


While current systems for controlling industrial robots are very efficient, their programming interfaces are still too complicated, time-consuming, and cumbersome. In this paper, we present AHUMARI, a new human-robot interaction method for controlling and programming a robotic arm. With AHUMARI, operators are using a multi-modal programming operation technique that includes an optically tracked 3D stick, speech input, and an Augmented Reality (AR) visualization. We also implemented a prototype, simulating status-quo Teach Pendant interfaces, as they are commonly used for programming industrial robots. To validate our interaction design, a user study was conducted for gaining both quantitative and qualitative data. Summarizing, the AHUMARI interaction technique was rated superior throughout all aspects. It was found to be easier to learn and to provide better performance in task completion time as well as in positioning accuracy.


Over the last decade, touch sensing devices have become more and more important. Most researchers tried to improve multi-touch by introducing capacitive, resistive, or optical sensing devices. Although most of them provide already a multi-touch sensing, it is still often not possible to track input pressure efficiently. Tracking pen and touch separately in combination with pressure tracking provides new possibilities for user interfaces and interaction design: entirely new tools or even new interaction modes are possible due to the simultaneous use of pen and touch (e.g. touch input could be used for manipulations or navigation, whereas pen input could be used for accurate annotations). With ecoTouch, we present a novel sensing device that is based on a pyro- and piezoelectric sensor matrix that is screen-printed on a flexible film, and can detect changes in pressure and temperature respectively.


NiCE (Natural user Interfaces for Collaborative Environments) was one out of 14 Austrian Research Studios starting  in October 2008. Over three years, we explored on novel large surfaces and new interaction techniques and embedded the into our daily-life environment (e.g. living room, conference room etc.). We primarily focused on new interaction methods and building new hardware. The research goal was to designdevelop, and evaluate natural user interfaces for collaborative environments that enable everyone, not just experts, to use our interactive systems. Thus, the focus was on creating natural systems and interfaces that increase users’ productivity.