The Haptic Cycling shirt is a smart shirt for effective training. The project is a collaboration with Dutch Fashion label ByBorre, who designed and knitted the shirts. The role of Elitac was to investigate which type of haptic feedback is most relevant for (professional) cyclists, to integrate the vibration motors into the shirt and to develop a mobile phone app that controls the vibration motors based on the users’ Heart Rate input.
In order to become a better cyclist you need to do interval training in which you cycle between certain Heart Rate (HR) zones for a certain period of time. Currently these trainings are done either on an indoor trainer, or outdoor on a bike with the use of a bike computer. Indicator lights show in which HR zone you are currently cycling.
The Haptic Cycling Shirt lets the cyclist know if he/she is within the targeted heart rate bandwidth by giving haptic signals on the back.
The haptic signals are provided intuitively to the cyclist; When you need to speed up, the vibration motors give an upstroke sensation. They will stroke down when you are above the set HR zone limit.
Currently, the haptic cycling shirt works with a basic demonstrator smartphone app to show the proof of concept of translating HR zone ranges to haptic signals. The same principle can be applied to translating other kinds of information to the cyclist, e.g. Power Zones (Watts) but also upcoming traffic when descending or navigation information about the route.
Pictures: Elitac | ByBorre
Wearable Development, Integrating Stretchable Electronics, Prototyping, User Experience (UX), Demonstrator App, User Testing