The latest buzz - tactile textiles

At Bonnie Binary, we are busy exploring digital touch technologies – extending the value of our sensory textile designs by adding subtle and responsive vibrations. We call this Vibro-Tactile Textiles. VTT for short.

We recently collaborated with Worth Partnership Project on a VTT research and product development and design project, find out more here.

Who are these products designed for?

We are addressing the growing need to support people living with a number of challenges associated with dementia and anxiety.

How do our products help?
Our products create a comforting and nurturing ‘in the moment’ experience, offering autonomy to the user and playful gentle engagement to distract and relax them.

We initially incorporated this technology into our Lizzie cushion – our sensory therapeutic lap cushion designed to comfort people living with anxiety and dementia. This cushion combines sensory textures, colourful patterns and tactile cues to encourage users to explore the surface with their hands.

 

The technology
An eTextile matrix sensor is embedded under the cushion surface so the user can control the vibrations. This handcrafted multi-touch digital interface uses smart textile materials and custom electronic solutions. The technology is embedded into the cushion to protect it and also offer comfort to the user. The layers of hard and soft technology are integrated in a way that maintains its textile quality. The low frequencies vibrations and sounds similar to a purring cat, change as you run your hands over the different surface textures.

User testing
Our VTT project has been an incredibly valuable experience with its own unique challenges. Due to the Covid conditions and lockdown, we were unable to access our intended user group for testing. With the help of one of our Worth Partnership Project team-members, Anna Blumenkranz and her friends and family, we have been able to test the Vibro-tactile experience with a variety of age groups and it shows potential to entertain, hold people’s attention and be relaxing.

What next?
We are keen to continue exploring the therapeutic potential of the Vibro-tactile experience and find manufacturing and distribution partners to develop its full potential. Our future aim is to create a product that brings gentle playful joy into people’s lives and makes a positive social impact.

To discuss a partnership, please contact the owner of Bonnie Binary, Annie Lywood, here.
To find out more about our research projects and product range, sign up to our newsletter here.

A huge thanks to the Worth Partnership Project team!
Maurin Donneaud (France) Electro-textiles
Anna Blumenkranz (Germany) User Experience & Interaction Design
Marina Toeters (Holland) – our excellent mentor!