MagKnitic: Machine-knitted Passive and Interactive Haptic Textiles with Integrated Binary Sensing

Yiyue Luo      Junyi Zhu     Kui Wu     Cedric Honnet     Stefanie Mueller     Wojciech Matusik    
We introduce MagKnitic, a novel approach to integrate passive force feedback and binary sensing into fabrics via digital machine knitting. Our approach utilizes digital fabrication technology to enable haptic interfaces that are soft, flexible, lightweight, and conform to the user’s body shape. Despite these characteristics, our interfaces provide diverse, interactive, and responsive force feedback, expanding the design space for haptic experiences.MagKnitic provides scalable and customizable passive haptic sensations by utilizing the attractive force between ferromagnetic yarns and permanent magnets, both of which are seamlessly integrated into knitted fabrics. Moreover, we present a binary sensing capability based on the resistance drop resulting from the activated electrical path between the integrated magnets and ferromagnetic yarn upon direct contact. We offer parametric design templates for users to customize MagKnitic layouts and patterns. With various design layouts and combinations, MagKnitic supports passive haptics interactions of linear, polar, angular, planar, radial, and user-defined motions. We perform a technical evaluation of the passive force feedback and the binary sensing capabilities with different machine knitting layouts and patterns, embedded magnet sizes, and interaction distances. In addition, we conduct two user studies to validate the effectiveness of MagKnitic. Finally, we demonstrate various application scenarios, including wearable input interfaces, game controllers, passive VR/AR wearables, and interactive furniture coverings.

MagKnitic: Machine-knitted Passive and Interactive Haptic Textiles with Integrated Binary Sensing
Y.Luo, J. Zhu, K. Wu, C. Honnet, S. Mueller, W. Matusik
ACM UIST 2023 [Paper]

Related Projects

Learning Human-environment Interactions using Conformal Tactile Textiles
Y.Luo, Y.Li, P. Sharma, W. Shou, K. Wu, M. Foshey, B. Li, T. Palacios, A. Torralba, W. Matusik
Nature Electronics [Project page]

KnitUI: Fabricating Interactive and Sensing Textiles with Machine Knitting
Y. Luo*, K. Wu*, T. Palacios, W. Matusik
CHI 2022 [Project page]

Digital Fabrication of Pneumatic Actuators with Integrated Sensing by Machine Knitting
Y. Luo, K. Wu, A. Spielberg, M. Foshey, T. Palacios, D. Rus, W. Matusik
CHI 2022 [Project page]