Project Description

WearEC Kits: Designing Toolkits for Exploring Subtle Visual Outputs on Wearables with Electrochromıc Displays

Çağlar Genç, Hayati Havlucu, Elina Puro, Ashley Colley and Jonna Häkkilä

Proceedings of the Proceedings of Mensch und Computer 2022

For designers, exploring subtle visual output modalities in the early phases of wearable design is a challenging task. In this work, we present the design and implementation of two toolkits, Transparent and Programmable WearEC Kits, that aim to enable designers to quickly explore electrochromic displays (EC) as a subtle output modality for wearables. EC displays are graphical displays that transition between two predefined visual states when a small voltage is applied. They are flexible, transparent and can be fabricated in a free-form shape, which makes them fitting candidates for designing wearables. Our work contributes the description of the novel design and implementation of the WearEC kits and reports a design exploration study conducted with a fashion designer.

Genc, C., Havlucu, H., Puro, E., Colley, A., & Häkkilä, J. (2022, in-press). WearEC Kits: Designing Toolkits for Exploring Subtle Visual Outputs on Wearables with Electrochromic Displays. In Proceedings of Mensch und Computer 2022.


Initial design of Programmable and Transparent Kits. (a) Module details of the programmable kit, (b) Programmable kit’s modules, a microprocessor and a sensor for programming, (c) two programmed state of the programmable kit on chest, (d) Transparent kit modules and their details, (e) naked EC screen alternatives for transparent kit, (f) two state of the EC display on a fabric.

Programmable Kit implementation details. (a) electronics and the EC display inside of one module, (b) cable and copper tape alternatives for pin connections, (c) an example implementation on the chest.

Sketches for programmable kit. (a) Reactive skirt, (b) Bag with animation, (c) Expressive hat.

Fabricated pieces of the transparent kit. (a) connection between the connector/power and naked modules, (b) EC display connection pads, (c) two states of a wearable on the shoulder demonstrated by a user pressing buttons.

Sketches for transparent kit. (a/b) Creating dynamic patterns on shirt designs, (c) Pattern and module designs for switching from traditional to modern patterns.