Spotify Controller T-Shirt


Tactile interaction is a common mean of communication which evolved with humans over time, but social media has depressed this basic mean of communication. Lack of in-person connections can lead to many mental health challenges. Close ties not only help nurture positive emotions, but they also cure the harmful effects of anxiety, depression and stress. One study(1) showed that “touch can be used as a tool for communicating empathy, resulting in an analgesic, painkilling effect.”
Instead of integrating touch in a routine lifestyle, I am trying to bring back that basic human gesture in a playful way. By combining music and digital interaction I tried to make an entertaining product. Spotify controller T-Shirt is a fun-wearable designed for people who are willing to open up themselves to tactile playful interaction. It creates a frivolous and lively environment that can lead to trustworthy social connections.

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Who is the intended user?

Friendly party-goers and active social butterflies, Party DJs.

What is the intended application? Note that this can be either a practical, solution-oriented application (design?) or something more exploratory (art?).

The music player controller t-shirt is designed to invite physical interaction among friends or strangers. The intended application of this product is to create an approachable friendly environment.

What is the response mechanism? Physical actuators? Something screen-based? Sound? If you are sending data to another software what is it and what communication protocol will you use?

Currently, the t-shirt is connected to a desktop computer via USB cable to control the tracklist in a music player. The data is being sent over a serial port to send keyboard shortcut keys. If possible, in future I would like to send controls over HTTP or Bluetooth to make it wireless and cellphone enabled.

Where does the interface physically live on the body? How does that affect how the user interacts with it?

The interface is embedded in the front of the t-shirt and connected to the microcontroller through conductive threads. The frontal positioning makes it inviting and exposed to other users.

Is the textile interface sensing the actions of the wearer or of someone else?

The interface is responsive to both wearer and other interacting users.

What is your material palette, conductive, resistive, and non-conductive?

Non-conductive fabric is used to make visible outer layers, a sandwich of conductive and resistive materials to make analog sensors, conductive threads, and non-conductive material to secure it from skin conductivity.

What is the scale of the interface? Tiny? Huge? Somewhere in between? What body part is meant to activate it?

3×3 inches of patches are placed on a regular-sized t-shirt and microcontroller is attached to the back of the t-shirt.

What mood / attitude / approach are you hoping to incite in your users? Is a delicate interaction? Rough? Tender? Formal?

A gentle touch is required to activate the sensors. The overall mood of the wearable is inviting and friendly.

What type of switches/sensors are you constructing? Digital, analog, or both? How many?

Hand impressions vary from person to person that is why I choose the analog sensor. Digital switches can only generate 1/0 and it requires a distinct interaction (touch) to generate digital signals on the other hand analog sensor can sense variable values which are easy to detect because every touch is different.

What is the mapping between the sensor data and whatever is responding to it?
Sensor Value Data
Play/Pause >500 Space-bar-key
Forward >500 Ctrl + right key
Previous >500 Ctrl + left key
Volume Up >500 Ctrl + up key
Volume Down >500 Ctrl + down key

How many modes of interaction are there and what are they?

Sensor Interactions
Play/Pause Play or Pause the track on Spotify
Forward Next track
Previous Double-tap: Previous Track, Single tap: Restart the track
Volume Up Increase Volume
Volume Down Decrease Volume


Microcontroller at the back of the shirt

Microcontroller at the back of the shirt

Sensor made of conductive fabric and velostat

Sensor made of conductive fabric and velostat

Non-conductive material to secure conductive thread from skin conductivity.  

Non-conductive material to secure conductive thread from skin conductivity.


Code :


The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction

Social touch and human development

 Let’s touch: why physical connection between human beings matters

 Textile Game Controllers Game Jam

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