Soft, embodied, situated & connected

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    Soft wearables include clothing and textile-based accessories that incorporate smart textiles and soft electronic interfaces to enable responsive and interactive experiences. When designed well, they leverage the cultural, sociological and material qualities of textiles, fashion and dress; diverse capabilities and meanings of the body; as well as the qualities and capabilities afforded by smart and programmable elements. Textiles behave in particular ways. They are part of culture. No matter a person's views on fashion or dress, they will have an intimate relationship with textiles, as they are one of the few products worn much of the time, close to the body. When designing wearables a designer must consider a range of requirements that do not typically demand focus when designing products that are not worn, including: a particular sensitivity for material details; an eye for fit and comfort on bodies with perhaps diverse and idiosyncratic movement capabilities; openness to a diversity of meanings that may be generated; and consideration of wearers' intimate relations with technology. In this paper we discuss the opportunities and challenges of designing and using soft wearables, applying notions of situatedness and personal meaning-making to understand and posit values in relation to outcomes. We present three design cases focusing respectively on body, material, and context; and reflect on how the different design approaches might impact use. Finally, we reflect on how embodied and collocated interactions might extend understanding of how to frame wearables research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMobileHCI '15 Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services Adjunct
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-3653-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile devices and Services (MobileHCI 2015) - Copenhagen, Denmark
    Duration: 24 Aug 201527 Aug 2015
    Conference number: 17


    Conference17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile devices and Services (MobileHCI 2015)
    Abbreviated titleMobileHCI 2015
    Internet address


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