Wearable devices have received tremendous interest in fitness and personal assistance sectors. Yet most are still worn as auxiliary hardware; falling short in ubiquity and convenience. We examine the potential of a novel deformable wearable device that embeds interactive technologies into garment buttons, and seek to enhance the form factor of buttons to incorporate deformation and motion as inputs. We surveyed garment buttons in everyday clothing to inform an exploratory study, where we investigated social acceptance and elicited interaction gestures using mockups. Our results indicate people mostly prefer smaller sizes, and regard sleeves as the most comfortable area to operate and look at when seen by others. Based on our findings, we discuss potential context of use, possible applications, and future work.

Buttons, Deformable user interfaces, Smart clothing, Ubiquitous computing, Wearables
2020 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2020
School of Information Technology

Cheung, V. (Victor), & Girouard, A. (2020). Exploring acceptability and utility of deformable interactive garment buttons. In Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings. doi:10.1145/3334480.3382941