On-Skin Wearable Technology Combined With Traditional Weaving

A team from Cornell University, called ‘Hybrid Body Lab,’ has started a project called ‘Wovenskin,’ which explores the link between on-skin interface technologies and cultural aesthetics.

The team’s ultimate goal is to create wearable technology that can be seamlessly integrated with fashion and take the design of devices back from a select few of the world’s biggest tech companies.

Imagine if your clothing could express your personality and culture at the same time as connecting to your smartphone. That’s the future envisioned by Cornell University’s Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao, who is director of Hybrid Body Lab.

The project combines centuries-old craft techniques with state-of-the-art technology to advance the research, design, and fabrication of on-skin interfaces.

The research, presented at the online Association of Computing Machinery Designing Interactive Systems Conference, is detailed in a paper titled, “Weaving a Second Skin: Exploring Opportunities for Crafting On-Skin Interfaces Through Weaving.” 

The work earned an honorable mention for best paper, as well as the best demo award at the conference.

“Our paper introduces this new design space that offers any engineer, designer or maker a way to create on-skin interfaces through weaving,” Kao said in a post by Cornell University.

“I think the community is really excited at the possibility of bridging this craft that has so much legacy and artistic quality with these new wearable devices.”

With wearable technology set to form an integral part of our lives in the future, we’re glad that someone is taking a deep dive into the role it will play in expressing who we are.


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