Accessibility Wearables

Oplay-Playful Media Design for Intergenerational Families

OPLAY uses e-textiles, flexible PCB and weaving technologies to explore more accessible tangible interfaces for the elderly and children--eliminating the invisible age discrimination of high-tech products, and create more interesting intergenerational relationships and multi-sensory experiences.


Binyan Xu


Sharon De La Cruz


In East Asian countries, intergenerational families are a prevalent social phenomenon, where grandparents assume the role of primary caregivers. This results in a disconnect between traditional and emerging technologies. Many tech companies neglect to design for older adults, which leads to implicit ageism and exacerbates seniors' unfamiliarity and fear of technology. This, in turn, creates educational inequalities and intergenerational conflicts for grandchildren raised by grandparents who lack access to emerging technologies.   To tackle this issue, I created OPLAY, a series of electronic textile interfaces that connects interactive media. By doing so, I aim to reduce seniors' fear of technology and promote the enjoyment and learning of interactive technology for both ageing people and children. OPLAY employs traditional loom technology to weave flexible PBC and e-textile into fabric circuits. These circuits leverage human bioelectricity to establish secure, wearable, and closed circuits that facilitate various interactive experiences. I recognize that colourful and soft textiles create a multisensory experience for children and are friendly materials for East Asian seniors.


Technical Details