In working from home scenarios, it is unknown whether a headphone wearing person is currently available or in an online meeting. Therefore, we explored the design space of headphones as wearable public displays to show information to people nearby directly on the headphones. We conducted two brainstorming session, several design sessions and an online survey. The online survey with 63 participants shows the acceptability of our design considerations and helped us creating a prototype.

  • Two brainstorming sessions
  • Design sessions
  • Online Survey with 63 participants
  • Prototype created based on feedback

We considered different headphone types during brainstorming.

34 of 63 paricipants would use headphones with wearable public displays

They would share the following information while wearing such headphones:

  • Ear cup size of over-ear headphones are beneficial
  • Colors and text more acceptable than pictograms
  • Colored background preferred over white or black/transparent background
  • 54% would wear headphones with wearable public displays
  • Most promising use cases: meeting (66.7%) and phone call (58.7%)
  • Acceptable even for participants who would not wear such headphones

In cooperation with our students Kevin Schumann, Daniel Wittenburg, Michael Mircea, Nikita Povelkin and Nico Osterndorf, we created a prototype. More information on the prototype here.

This work was developed by the Human-Computer Interaction Group at the University of Hannover. For additional details, see our CHI 2022 LBW paper. For questions and comments, please contact