phat 17(10): e5

Research Article

HeartBeat: Tactile Support for Keeping a Target Heart Rate

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/eai.13-7-2017.152889,
        author={Janko Timmermann and Benjamin Poppinga and Wilko Heuten and Susanne Boll},
        title={HeartBeat: Tactile Support for Keeping a Target Heart Rate},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Pervasive Health and Technology},
        keywords={Heart Rate, Tactile, Participatory Design, Evaluation, Study},
  • Janko Timmermann
    Benjamin Poppinga
    Wilko Heuten
    Susanne Boll
    Year: 2017
    HeartBeat: Tactile Support for Keeping a Target Heart Rate
    DOI: 10.4108/eai.13-7-2017.152889
Janko Timmermann1,*, Benjamin Poppinga2, Wilko Heuten1, Susanne Boll3
  • 1: OFFIS - Institute for Information Technology, Germany
  • 2: Smarttention Systems, Ingolstadt, Germany
  • 3: University of Oldenburg, Germany
*Contact email:


In cardiac rehabilitation, physical activity is essential, but the intensity of exertion as defined by the heart rate should be kept within specific limits. A heart rate monitor helps the user maintain the target range of physical exertion for maximum benefit. According to experts, visual heart rate display are often distracting and uncomfortable. In this paper, we present the results of a less intrusive approach where heart rate zones are encoded with continuous vibro-tactile feedback. In a participatory design study, we obtained designs for tactile heart rate displays, and in a user study with 16 participants we evaluated one design in comparison to a common design. In a second study with 20 participants, we showed that users are able to assess and maintain their optimal heart rate significantly better using our design.