Mauriello, M., Gubbels, M., Froehlich, J. (May 2014)
Group exercise has multiple benefits including greater adherence to fitness regimens, increased enjoyment among participants, and enhanced workout intensity. While a large number of technology tools have emerged to support realtime feedback of individual performance, tools to support group fitness are limited. In this paper, we present a set of wearable e-textile displays for running groups called Social Fabric Fitness (SFF). SFF provides a glanceable, shared screen on the back of the wearer's shirt to increase awareness and motivation of group fitness performance. We discuss parallel prototyping of three designs--one flexible e-ink and two flexible LED-based displays; the selection and refinement of one design; and two evaluations--a field study of 10 running groups and two case studies of running races. Our qualitative findings indicate that SFF improves awareness of individual and group performance, helps groups stay together, and improves in-situ motivation. We close with reflections for future athletic e-textile displays.