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Abstract

This paper presents a toolkit that allows to easily prototype with bendable color ePaper displays for designing and studying novel body-worn interfaces in mobile scenarios. We introduce a software and hardware platform that enables researchers for the first time to implement fully-functional wearable and UbiComp applications with interactive, curved color pixel displays. Further, we provide a set of visual and sensory-rich materials for customization and mounting options. To technically validate our approach and demonstrate its promising potential, we implemented eight real-world applications ranging from personal information and mobile data visualizations over active notifications to media controls. Finally, we report on first usage experiences and conclude with a research roadmap that outlines future applications and directions.

Publication

    Accompanying Research Video

    Accompanying research video for the research article: Bendable Color ePaper Displays for Novel Wearable Applications and Mobile Visualization.

    In a hurry? We also have a 30-second preview video.

    Extended Abstract


    Download PDF
    (article will be available soon)

    Housings


    STL files for 3D Printing:

    • curved-housing.stl
      This is the main housing that we used for our prototype
    • curved-housing-stacked.stl
      This is an alternative, simplified version of the main housing that can be used to start with Plastic Logics Evaluation Kit. Please note that this version did not include spacings for membrane potentiometers and use the MCU and EPD driver board in a stacked version
    • band-connector.stl
      This is a simple connecting piece that can be used to connect the band with the display housing.
    • smartwatch-connector.stl
      This is a model connect the Samsung Watch 3 with the display housing.
    • battery-holder.stl
      This is a simple model for a small LiPo battery (400mAh) and a power switch. The holes are used to sew the case on velcro to make the battery velcro-attachable.
    • material_stencil_cover.svg
      This is a vector path to cut a piece of material that nicely covers the housing. You can use this vector path with your vinyl or laser cutter to create surface templates that are made of book cloth, japan paper or any other cuttable material.

    Source Code

    The project uses the Arduino IDE (version: 1.8.13) as an open-source physical computing platform.

    StrapDisplay source code:

    Arduino board dependencies and software libraries:

    Useful tools:

    Hardware Components

    All used hardware parts can be found in the extended abstract of this work. In addition to some standard prototyping parts (e.g., cables, resistors, screws), the main components can be summarised as follows:

    Detailed step-by-step building instructions can be found in the accompanying research video.

    Circuit Diagram and Wiring

    Click here for a full size view.

    Acknowledgements

    We would like to thank Robert Poser from Plastic Logic for providing us the electrophoretic displays, the PL_smallEPD base library as well as comprehensive technical support. This work was supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) as part of Germany’s Excellence Strategy EXC 2050/1 – Project ID 390696704 – Cluster of Excellence Centre for Tactile Internet with Human-in-the-Loop (CeTI) of Technische Universität Dresden as well as by the DFG grant 389792660 as part of TRR~248 (see https://perspicuous-computing.science).

    Other related lab projects

    • Watch+Strap: Explores how to combine a smartwatch with interactive ePaper strap displays.
    • Rapid Iron-On: Investigates how novel ironing tools can be used to prototype with wearable ePaper displays.
    • SleeD: Demonstrates how a ePaper sleeve display can be used to interact with touch-sensitive display walls.