Seamless interaction

Funding Details
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Grant type: Strategic Projects - Group
  • Year: 2019/20
  • Total Funding: $196,333
Principle Investigator(s)

Project Summary

Keyboards, touch screens, and remote controllers are readily available to allow individuals to interact with digital media. However, they require users to physically interact with an interface, thus preventing them from using their body in a natural, unconstrained way. Additionally, cameras used for simultaneous limb tracking need to be surface-mounted and therefore, are not best suited to track individuals throughout the day. Although there are a few select smart garment options recently available on the market, there are still significant technological challenges that must be overcome to fully realize seamless interaction between individuals and the digital space. The current project proposes an 'invisible' interface to effortlessly interact with digital media. The interface consists of regular-looking clothes weaved with innovative sensing threads that capture and interpret body and limb movements, provide physiological information (e.g. heartbeat, breathing and sweating) and collate personal data for the purpose of learning behaviours and psychological states. Data is provided to the wearers for personal use and can also be used for the design of optimal work spaces that meet the needs of each individual, and of our society at large. This project will investigate this novel interface to enhance virtual/augmented reality environments, and enable individuals to use their natural body language to facilitate communication in work settings, online course lectures, and gaming, without the need to instrument all spaces with obtrusive cameras and/or other surface-mounted tracking systems. This project will generate new knowledge on human interactions with digital media, and develop technology for effortless interactions. This, in turn, will provide Canadians with an effective way to communicate with digital media, improve personal productivity, and work more efficiently. Results of this research are anticipated to positively impact gaming, military, health, robotics, and sports applications. Importantly, it will give Myant, the Canadian-based wearable technology company that supports this project and leads the electronic textiles market segment internationally, the opportunity to contribute to a highly promising and diversified market.

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