Wearable technologies draw on a range of disciplines, including fashion, textiles, HCI, and engineering. Due to differences in methodology, wearables researchers can experience gaps or breakdowns in values, goals, and vocabulary when collaborating. This situation makes wearables development challenging, even more so when technologies are in the early stages of development and their technological and cultural potential is not fully understood. We propose a common ground to enhance the accessibility of wearables-related resources. The objective is to raise awareness and create a convergent space for researchers and developers to both access and share information across domains. We present CHIMERA, an online search interface that allows users to explore wearable technologies beyond their discipline. CHIMERA is powered by a Wearables Taxonomy and a database of research, tutorials, aesthetic approaches, concepts, and patents. To validate CHIMERA, we used a design task with multidisciplinary designers, an open-ended usability study with experts, and a usability survey with students of a wearables design class. Our findings suggest that CHIMERA assists users with different mindsets and skillsets to engage with information, expand and share knowledge when developing wearables. It forges common ground across divergent disciplines, encourages creativity, and affords the formation of inclusive, multidisciplinary perspectives in wearables development.
CHIMERA: Supporting Wearables Development across Multidisciplinary Perspectives
Authors: Luis Paredes, Caroline McMillan, Wan Kyn Chan, Senthil Chandrasegaran, Ramyak Singh, Karthik Ramani, and Danielle Wilde
In the Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies
Luis is a PhD student in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. He completed his undergraduate studies in Electric and Control Engineering at Escuela Politecnica Nacional from Ecuador. He also made an internship at Computer Science, Purdue University (2013). He joined the C Design Lab in Summer 2015 during his Master's program at Purdue University. His research focuses on facilitating access to knowledge, design & fabrication methods, and interactions with wearables. His research interests are product development, interaction methods, tangible and wearable user interfaces, prototyping, digital fabrication, customizable products, and mixing art with engineering.