Evaluating Capacitive Touch Input on Clothes

Paul Holleis, Albrecht Schmidt, Susanna Paasovaara, Arto Puikkonen, Jonna Häkkilä

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Wearable computing and smart clothing have attracted a lot of attention in the last years. For a variety of applications, it can be seen as potential future direction of mobile user interfaces. In this paper, we concentrate on usability and applicability issues concerned with capacitive touch input on clothing. To be able to perform user studies, we built a generic platform for attaching, e.g., capacitive sensors of different types. On top of that, several prototypes of wearable accessories and clothing and implemented various application scenarios. We report on two studies we undertook with these implementations with a user group randomly sampled at a shopping mall. We provide a significant set of guidelines and lessons learned that emerged from our experiences and those studies. Thus, developers of similar projects have to put major efforts into minimizing the delay between button activation and feedback and to make location and identification of controls and their function as simple and quick as possible. Issues that have to be treated in all designs include the requirement of one-handed interaction and that, even for minimal functionality, to find a general solution with regard to layout and button-to-function mapping is hardly possible. Additionally, in order to generate a satisfactory user experience good usability must be combined with aesthetical factors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781595939524
Publication statusPublished - 2008
MoEC publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication

Publication series

SeriesMobileHCI '08


  • input on textiles
  • wearable controls
  • capacitive touch
  • design guidelines

Field of science

  • Visual arts and design


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