ProximityHat – A Head-Worn System for Subtle Sensory Augmentation with Tactile Stimulation

Publication/Creation Date
September 10 2015
Karlsruhe Institute Of Technology (contributor)
Matthias Berning (creator)
Florian Braun (creator)
Till Riedel (creator)
Michael Beigl (creator)
ProximityHat (creator)
Persuasive Intent
In this paper we present the iterative design process of our wearable sensory substitution system ProximityHat, which uses pressure actuators around the head to convey spatial information. It was already shown that the sense of touch can be used to augment our perception of reality. Existing systems focus on vibration signals for information transfer, but this is unsuitable for constant stimulation in everyday use. Our system determines the distance to surrounding objects with ultrasonic sensors and maps this information to an inward pressure. It was evaluated in a study with 13 blindfolded subjects in orientation and navigation tasks. The users were able to discern at least three different absolute pressure levels with high certainty. Combined with the sensors, they could also use continuous values to navigate hallways and find doors. Most users had only a few collisions, but a small group of three individuals struggled more. We attribute this to the latency and resolution of the final prototype, which led to slow walking speed and will be addressed in future work.
HCI Platform
Discursive Type
Location on Body

Date archived
October 7 2015
Last edited
January 23 2018
How to cite this entry
Matthias Berning, Florian Braun, Till Riedel, Michael Beigl, ProximityHat. (September 10 2015). "ProximityHat – A Head-Worn System for Subtle Sensory Augmentation with Tactile Stimulation". 2015 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC 2015). International Symposium On Wearable Computers. Fabric of Digital Life.