Tactile Dialogues (Week 1)
Designed by Martijn ten Bhömer, Borre Akkersdijk, Oscar Tomico.
(Here is the link! ( The file is too big to upload.): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8SDxeJkgvw)
‘Tactile Dialogues’ is a smart textile service in the form of a pillow with integrated vibration elements that react to touch. The pillow provides various vibrotactile stimulus patterns that encourage the patient to move and develop conversations in a bodily way. When these elements are touched (by rubbing, stroking, or pushing) a soft vibration can be felt from multiple locations on the object. This stimulates small movements and social connection between the people using the pillow: it allows for a dialogue based on physical interaction to begin.
Examples of interaction behaviors tailored to the person with dementia.
Knitting the double layered 3D fabric with the graphic and tactile pattern.
The 3d printed casings that act as sensor, and transfer the vibration to the fabric.
Materials: Cotton yarn, Elektrisola textile wire, 3D-printed casing, Bekinox conductive fibers, Vibration motors, Custom CRISP motor printed circuit board, Battery
Techniques: Circular knitting, 3D-printing, Programming, Heat pressing, Soldering
I usually care about creating physically or mentally helpful and productive designs in order to improve people’s current status while interacting with them. The aspect that fascinated me the most is how to utilize technical advantages (applied to a familiar object to a user which is a pillow in this case) to people who need help.
At first, I imagined, user(a person with dementia) might be stimulated and use conditioned tactile stimuli by tapping the pillow but found out it’s not simply sending a tactile signals, but communicating with a person in front of the person: The vibrotactile behavior can be adapted to the person by moving their hands to find where the vibration is coming from.
I think it is a simple and effective way of providing accessible entertainment to individuals suffering from dementia, and great to see that it would ultimately improve not only the patient’s quality of life, but the family’s and caregivers’ as well by decreasing rate of mental deterioration. I guess it also has a lot of potentials to be developed in a way of creating tools for babies who start to develop their tactile sense.