Year

2014

Collaborators

Matt Mauriello, Jon Froehlich

Partners

Erogear, Runkeeper

Tags

wearable, display, textile, running, social, visualization

Social Fabric Fitness

Wearable e-textile displays to support group awareness while running.

Social Fabric Fitness explored the use of three e-textile displays embedded in athletic shirts worn by runners in groups. The purpose of the research done with these displays was to better understand how displaying running analytics affected group running behavior.

The following abstract, taken from our publication, provides an overview of this project.

Group exercise has multiple benefits including greater adherence to fitness regimens, increased enjoyment among participants, and enhanced workout intensity. While a large number of technology tools have emerged to support realtime feedback of individual performance, tools to support group fitness are limited. In this paper, we present a set of wearable e-textile displays for running groups called Social Fabric Fitness (SFF). SFF provides a glanceable, shared screen on the back of the wearer’s shirt to increase awareness and motivation of group fitness performance. We discuss parallel prototyping of three designs—one flexible e-ink and two flexible LED-based displays; the selection and refinement of one design; and two evaluations—a field study of 10 running groups and two case studies of running races. Our qualitative findings indicate that SFF improves awareness of individual and group performance, helps groups stay together, and improves in-situ motivation. We close with reflections for future athletic e-textile displays.

I contributed to this project in a number of ways. Most of my efforts were in hardware and software development. Over the summer of 2014, I designed the physical form factor and developed most of the hardware and software for a custom flexible LED display and a flexible E-ink display. These were two of three wearable displays that were used to study the behavior of running groups with one person wearing the display. The third display was developed by Anders Nelson for his startup Erogear. I found this display and initiated the collaboration with Anders that lead to our use of Erogear's prototype displays in our third wearable display. These displays are shown below.

I also made the trailer video shown at the top of this page, working closely with Jon Froehlich.

Publications

  • Mauriello, M., Gubbels, M., & Froehlich, J. E. (2014, April). Social fabric fitness: the design and evaluation of wearable E-textile displays to support group running. In Proceedings of the 32nd annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 2833-2842). ACM.