Exploring public perceptions of future wearable computing
As scientists develop the next wave of smartwatches and other wearable computing, they might want to continue focusing their attention on the arms and the wrists. According to a recent Georgia Tech study, portable electronic devices placed on the collar, torso, waist or pants may cause awkwardness, embarrassment or strange looks.
In a paper titled "Don't Mind Me Touching My Wrist," Georgia Tech researchers reported the results of a case study of interaction with on-body technology in public. Specifically, they surveyed people in both the United States and South Korea to gain cultural insights into perceptions of the use of e-textiles, or electronic devices, stitched into everyday clothing.
For the study, researchers directed participants to watch videos of people silencing incoming phone calls using e-textile interfaces on various parts of their body, including wrists, forearms, collarbones, torsos, waists and the front pant pocket. They were asked to describe their thoughts about the interaction (such as whether it appeared normal, silly or awkward) and its placement on the body.
In general, the study found that in both countries, the wrist and the forearm were the most preferred locations for e-textiles, as well as the most normal placement when watching someone use the devices.
"This may be due to the fact that these locations are already being used for wearable technology," said Halley Profita, a former Georgia Tech industrial design graduate student who led the study. "People strap smartphones or MP3 players to their arms while exercising. Runners wear GPS watches."
According to the study:
- Gender of the technology user affected opinions about the interaction. For example, Americans were uncomfortable when men used a device located at the front pant pocket region or when women reached for their torsos or collarbones.
"South Koreans also said they wanted an easy-to-use system, but the technology should not make them look awkward or weird," Profita said. "This isn't surprising because their culture emphasizes modesty, politeness and avoidance of embarrassing situations."
The findings were presented in September at the International Symposium in Wearable Computing in Switzerland. While at Georgia Tech, Profita was advised by Professors Ellen Yi-Luen Do Thad Starner, a wearable computing pioneer. She is currently a doctoral candidate in computer science at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Source: Georgia Institute of Technology – 07.11.2013.
Investigated and edited by:Dr.-Ing. Christoph Konetschny, Inhaber und Gründer von Materialsgate
Büro für Material- und Technologieberatung
The investigation and editing of this document was performed with best care and attention.
For the accuracy, validity, availability and applicability of the given information, we take no liability.
Please discuss the suitability concerning your specific application with the experts of the named company or organization.
You want additional material or technology investigations concerning this subject?Materialsgate is leading in material consulting and material investigation.
Feel free to use our established consulting services
Your weekly MaterialTRENDS for
Engineering & Design
Partner of the Week
Search in MaterialsgateNEWS
Books and products
Industrieverband Klebstoffe e. V.