Gapeau: Enhancing the Sense of Distance to Others with a Head-Mounted Sensor
Paper in proceeding, 2022

Human perception lacks the capabilities to accurately assess distance. The recent Covid-19 pandemic outbreak rendered this ability particularly important. Augmenting our sense of distance can help maintain safe separation from others when required. To explore how systems can help users maintain physical distance, we designed, implemented and evaluated Gapeau - a head-mounted system for augmenting the sense of distance. Our system uses proximity sensors and thermal sensing to detect and measure the distance to other people. We conducted a validation protocol, an experiment, in which we compared different feedback modalities, and an in-the-wild study to evaluate Gapeau's performance and suitability for use in social contexts. We found that our system enabled users to more accurately determine whether they were maintaining a safe distance from others. Vibration and auditory feedback were found most effective and usable. Gapeau was perceived as socially acceptable. Our work contributes insights for augmented sensing systems with social relevance.

sensory augmentation

wearable computing

head-mounted sensor

physical distance


Mikolaj Wozniak

The Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg

Julia Dominiak

Lodz University of Technology

Krzysztof Grudzien

Lodz University of Technology

Magdalena Wróbel-Lachowska

Lodz University of Technology

Jasmin Niess

University of St Gallen

Pawel W. Wozniak

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Interaction Design and Software Engineering

A. Romanowski

Lodz University of Technology

ACM International Conference Proceeding Series

9781450391474 (ISBN)

16th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, TEI 2022
Virtual, Online, South Korea,

Subject Categories

Interaction Technologies

Human Computer Interaction

Embedded Systems



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