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Home Lighthouse Projects Aalto – Smart Garments

Aalto University

Smart Garments

Aalto University

Smart Garments

Designing smart garments and wearable haptic devices for enhancing user experiences in VR.
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Hand touching a display
Photo by Killian Cartignies


Addressing the sense of touch with haptic feedback in augmented and virtual reality applications has recently proved to enhance the immersive experience and has attracted tremendous attention from both academia and industry.

Furthermore, haptics as a research field has been increasingly growing in the last years. This is shown by the multiplicity of haptic devices that have been researched and developed to render haptic feedback for purposes such as accessibility, motor training, education or entertainment.

Photo by Mikko Raskinen
Photo by Mikko Raskinen

Haptic feedback tries to mimic various types of human sensations of weight, textures, temperatures and even pain. Particularly for VR development, it is crucial to simulate realistic tactile and kinesthetic interactions with virtual environments and objects for immersive user experiences.

Commercial haptic gloves are mainly designed to provide force feedback and in some cases also texture sensation in specific VR applications like simulation-based pilot training. From the texture sensation perspective, existing devices have focused on simulating the feel of solid objects in VR. 

However, the research on liquid-based haptic experiences is still in its infancy, with only a few examples available.

Photo by Joshua Earle

Project Goals

Aalto University’s Wearable Systems Lab will aim for the exploration and simulation of multimodal thermal and liquid experiences and its effect on emotions, immersion and embodiment in VR by creating textile-based wearable haptic interfaces. Project objectives are:


Exploration of multimodal perception of human haptic sense to achieve novel rich haptic sensations


Haptic simulation of thermal, liquid sensations through wearable thermal and tactile actuators across the body


Understand how emotions, feeling of immersion and embodiment can be enhanced through such haptic interfaces



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