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Open AccessArticle

LifeChair: A Conductive Fabric Sensor-Based Smart Cushion for Actively Shaping Sitting Posture

School of Integrative and Global Majors, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8573, Japan
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Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2261; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072261
Received: 9 June 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 11 July 2018 / Published: 13 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Applications in Medical Monitoring and Assistive Devices)
The LifeChair is a smart cushion that provides vibrotactile feedback by actively sensing and classifying sitting postures to encourage upright posture and reduce slouching. The key component of the LifeChair is our novel conductive fabric pressure sensing array. Fabric sensors have been explored in the past, but a full sensing solution for embedded real world use has not been proposed. We have designed our system with commercial use in mind, and as a result, it has a high focus on manufacturability, cost-effectiveness and adaptiveness. We demonstrate the performance of our fabric sensing system by installing it into the LifeChair and comparing its posture detection accuracy with our previous study that implemented a conventional flexible printed PCB-sensing system. In this study, it is shown that the LifeChair can detect all 11 postures across 20 participants with an improved average accuracy of 98.1%, and it demonstrates significantly lower variance when interfacing with different users. We also conduct a performance study with 10 participants to evaluate the effectiveness of the LifeChair device in improving upright posture and reducing slouching. Our performance study demonstrates that the LifeChair is effective in encouraging users to sit upright with an increase of 68.1% in time spent seated upright when vibrotactile feedback is activated. View Full-Text
Keywords: posture; pressure sensing; conductive fabric; haptic feedback; interfaces; cushion; classification posture; pressure sensing; conductive fabric; haptic feedback; interfaces; cushion; classification
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Ishac, K.; Suzuki, K. LifeChair: A Conductive Fabric Sensor-Based Smart Cushion for Actively Shaping Sitting Posture. Sensors 2018, 18, 2261.

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