Tactile Motion Instructions for Physical Activities



  • Mar 25: Tactile Motion Instructions in the press.


In many sports domains, such as in snowboarding, students receive feedback on their performance only after each exercise or run. Instant feedback during exercises is impractical due to the students' physical movement and their spatial separation from the trainer. Though instructions can be delivered over headphones, spoken messages can block environmental audio cues, possibly decreasing performance or leading to dangerous situations.

We introduce tactile motion instructions as an alternative way to assist in correcting wrong posture during physical activities, and present a set of full-body vibrotactile patterns. These patterns represent specific body movements and are intended to guide students during physical activities.

The Team

Tactile motion instructions was developed by Daniel Spelmezan, Mareike Jacobs, Anke Hilgers, and Jan Borchers.


Tactile motion instructions are unique vibrotactile patterns displayed across the body that communicate how to adjust posture. These feedback patterns are rendered by small vibration motors at dedicated body positions and represent specific movements, such as Bend your legs or Shift your weight to the left foot.

User Study

Experiments conducted on the Wii Fit balance board and with snowboarders descending a slope showed that tactile motion instructions are perceive with high accuracy during cognitively and physically demanding tasks under real-world conditions. Moreover, tactile instructions lead to faster response times than their audio counterparts.


  • D. Spelmezan, A. Hilgers, J. Borchers. A Language of Tactile Motion Instructions. MobileHCI 2009 Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, MobileHCI 2009, Bonn, Germany, September 15-18.
  • D. Spelmezan, M. Jacobs, A. Hilgers, J. Borchers. Tactile Motion Instructions for Physical Activities. CHI 2009 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2009, Boston, USA, April 4-9.
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