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Designing the Future of Wearable Technology Today

The Knowledge Transfer Network’s (KTN) Digital Economy Manager Mitra Mermazia introduced a session that brought together some of the UK’s leading designers, researchers and entrepreneurs working in the field of wearable technology.
In small groups, they discussed the major issues, challenges and questions that should help to frame future research and innovation, before presenting the outcomes of these discussions to the other groups. In the course of this, the following points were made:
  • Wearables need to do more than simply ‘piggyback’ as an accessory to smart phones. We need to create situations in which they directly interact with the environment.
  • Wearable technologies must be relevant and real for people, for instance improving the quality of life in dense urban areas.
  • Should we see wearables as lying primarily with the wearer or the system: is it a personal device, or a means of connecting services? And how far will people want to be monitored?
  • Ultimately, wearable devices should be a means of expanding an individual’s capacity and skills through connectivity.
  • While much of the technical innovation will be in chemistry and materials, for the consumer much of the added value is likely to be in the design and quality of the fashion product.
  • Wearables will not be called wearables for much longer! They will become devices seamlessly integrated into fashion and fabrics.
This article was written by KTN Lead Specialist – Creative, Digital, Design Tom Campbell
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