Hello World

Exploring how textile Electronics can enhance a Touch and Feel Book
Master Thesis by Preetha Moorthy, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, August 2017.

Hello World is the common name of a newbie's very first programming examples - in our case it refers to one of a child's first books enhanced with interactive features.

Cover and last page.
Paper prototype.
Construction of the spine.
Master Theses _ Textile Interfaces for Kids - A Touch and Feel Book by Preetha Moorthy, M.Sc. in HCI, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. August 8th, 2017.

Supervision _ Eva Hornecker, Andreas Mühlenberend, and Michaela Honauer

Concept Design _ Michaela Honauer
  • Michaela Honauer, Preetha Moorthy, and Eva Hornecker. 2019. Interactive Soft Toys for Infants and Toddlers – Design Recommendations for Age-appropriate Play. In Proceedings of the 2019 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY ‘19). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 12 pages. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3311350.3347147. PDF
  • Preetha Moorthy, Michaela Honauer, Eva Hornecker, and Andreas Mühlenberend. 2017. Hello world: a children's touch and feel books enhanced with DIY electronics. In Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 481-488. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3152832.3157811. PDF.
Preethas theses research was to develop and test a working prototype of a textile touch and feelbook for toddlers. The core concept was to enhance the textile book with interactivity through seamlessly integrated electronics. Similar like traditional textile books for little kids, the prototype consists of three double pages, each showing a different character – a fish, a bear, and a firefly. The implemented feedback given to children’s interactions was selected based on the primary senses - seeing, feeling and hearing. When the fish’s tail is pulled, it activates a buzzer playing a sound. When touching or pressing the bear's belly, it vibrates and gives a tactile feedback. When covering a light sensor on the firefly, LEDs in the starry sky are turning on. After realizing the prototype, Preetha tested it with 18 children in the age of 1-7 years.

My part was guiding and supporting Preetha in developing the prototype. I had the idea for this research project, developed the interaction concept of the three characters, created a paper protoype and tested it my family environment. After Preetha approached me searching for a thesis topic, she started continuing the work improved the interaction concept of firefly (what was actually a bird in the first sketches and then a moth in the paper prototype), and replaced the idea of a textile button to turn on the LEDs through a light sensor. I continously mentored her work, helped to develop the spine of the book which is the core of the electronics inside the book, and showed her how to best integrate electronic and textile components. Since the results of the user tests are promising, we hope to continue this reserch project, to further improve the interaction concept and book design, and to develop a more advanced prototype for conducting further field tests.

Fish page - pulling the fish's tail creates a sound.
Teddy bear page - stroking the teddy's belly creates a haptic feedback.
Firefly page - covering the insect's lower body turns on the LEDs on the right page.
Inner electronics of the firefly page.