Smart Clothing: Technology and Applications (Human Factors and Ergonomics)

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ISO ISO suggests measuring usability based on effectiveness, efi- ciency, and satisfaction. Therefore, usability in smart clothing could be a function of the cognitive requirements associated with interactive matters. Research on usability in smart clothing and wearable computing can be found in several papers.

Gorlenko and Merrick discussed the usability of smart cloth- ing in a general way. Besides, Chae, Hong, Cho et al. Gorlenko and Merrick discussed the challenges of usability for mobile wireless computing. The most obvious challenge is dealing with mobility. The com- plexity and diversity of wearables presents serious challenges for the design pro- cess and for the design methodology.

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To ensure products are user centered, usability assessment should incorporate the user in the design process, reducing the produc- tion of expensive and time-consuming physical prototypes. Chae, Hong, Cho et al. These questionnaires, designed based on observations and wearing tests, include ive categories such as social accep- tance, feeling of wearing, utility, easiness of maintenance, and safety.

Results indicated that improving the keypad interface is the most frequent request. The functionality of each technology should be evaluated. Functionality of smart clothing has been considered in several studies, and we introduce hereafter three works regarding functionality tests of keypads and ECG electrodes.


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To test the functionality of keypads, Cho et al. Results showed that rubber dome keypads with 62 gf of operation force were preferred to metal dome keypads with gf of opera- tion force Figure 1. Likewise, optimization of the feedback is critical for keypad construction. Jang et al. To make Cu-sputtered fabrics for ECG electrodes, Cu-sputtering was performed on water-resistant nylon fabrics in a vacuum chamber by applying a high voltage across a low-pressure argon gas. To measure ECG, 1. Generally, the signal pattern of AgCl and Cu-sputtered textile electrodes was similar Figure 1.

However, Cu-sputtered electrodes showed a wider voltage range due to a wider contact area of the textile electrodes than the 1-cm-diameter AgCl electrodes. Then R-peak detection rates were obtained during wear tests Figure 1. The embroidered electrodes had lower accuracy than Cu-sputtered textile electrodes because of the lower conductance of stainless steel yarn and of a much smaller contact area. Electronic devices should be protected by a soft cush- ion or detached before laundering. The durability of electronics must be tested when they are integrated in textile form.

Cho et al. The Georgia Tech Wearable Motherboard-based shirt developed by Park and Jayaraman in to save the life of soldiers has a wear life of combat days, which represents its ability to with- stand repeated lexure, abrasion, and laundering. Review and Reappraisal of Smart Clothing 15 kg 0. To prove the durability of the fabric-based transmission lines, Cho et al.

Smart clothing book

Polyurethane sealed metal-plated fabrics maintained excellent electrical durability even after 10 launderings. Moreover, when the earphone lines made of the laundered fabric were connected to an MP3 player, they worked success- fully and no sound quality difference was subjectively perceived. Besides, the metal plated fabric with PU double sealing exhibited performance similar to conventional Cu earphone lines Figure 1. Jang, J. Cho, K. Jeong, and G. Copyright by Springer. Review and Reappraisal of Smart Clothing 17 2.

Cho, J. Moon, M. Sung, K.

The physical failure of smart clothing, such as overheating or elec- tric shock, may be accrued due to functional error. Providing safe smart clothing requires consideration of physical forms, electromagnetic waves, electricity, etc. To improve the safety of conductive narrow fabric for signal transmission, Yang et al. Before mass-producing smart clothing, safety should be studied further from more diverse aspects; a standard index should accordingly be established for both manufacturers and consumers.

According to Hatch , comfort can be divided into thermophysiological comfort, sensorial or neurophysiological comfort, and body-movement comfort. Comfort was assessed for wearable devices such as helmets or arm-worn devices Robinette and Whitestone ; Stein et al. However, assessments neglected various aspects. Knight and Baber carried out most research on the evaluation of smart clothing. They developed the comfort rating scales CRSs to assess wearable technologies Knight et al.

The CRSs were used to assess the comfort of numerous wearable technologies, in different situations Bodine and Gemperle ; Knight et al. When compared to the conventional criteria for comfort thermophysiological, sensorial, and body-movement comfort , CRSs deal with neuropsychological aspects as much as with physical and physiological aspects. Gemperle and coworkers suggested design guidelines to communicate the considerations and principles necessary to design wearable products.

The guidelines cover placement, form language, human movement, proxemics human perception of space , size variation, attachment, containment, weight, accessibility, sensory inter- action, temperature, aesthetics, and long-term use. The design guidelines help one to consider all creation issues for wearable devices. Among the guidelines, proxemics provides a new viewpoint for the design of smart clothing.


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It refers to the understanding of layers of perception around the body, related to the fact that the brain perceives an aura around the body. Some research- ers in clothing and textile design have asserted the importance of multidisci- plinary collaboration, and suggested development processes for smart clothing products Ariyatum and Holland ; Baurley ; McCann, Hurford, and Martin Ariyatum and Holland asserted that a new product design model must be formulated based on a smart clothing context.

The key issue they presented was that the conventional struc- ture of new product design models fails to demonstrate the different work methods in electronics and in fashion. Thus, a new product design model is needed to enhance understanding about the work and communication with collaborators.

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Baurley suggested a design methodology for interaction design in smart clothing; it consists of a conceptual framework, user studies, and design building. The framework relies on observations and research on how people use, interact with, and experience conventional clothes. User studies are based on user groups, and are fed back into the framework. It was developed to support innovative decision making in the sourcing and selection of materials, technologies, and construction methods.

To balance appearance and function, designers require guid- ance in their selection and application of technical textiles, style, cutting, sewing, and inishing at every stage in the design research and development process. Some products are on the market, but gen- erally developments are in a starting phase; their potential is enormous.

However, no existing smart clothing fully integrates high technology and fashion design because the contributions from the electronics and fashion industries are unbalanced.

This chapter illustrates the current situation of product development and explains the technology involved in integrating electronics into fashion. As Lymberis and Olsson stated in , they can provide physicians with data to detect and manage health risks, diagnose at early stages, recommend treat- ments, and make professional decisions based on objective information Lymberis and Olsson Healthcare is a key market for the textile industry: in , over 1.

This igure should increase in volume by 4. We focus hereafter on the analysis of applications potentially beneicial to users and on the enabling technology required for this vision to happen. Medical monitors provide patients with real-time feedback about medical conditions related to respira- tion, ECG, GSR galvanic skin response , skin pH, temperature, and blood oximetry while going about their normal daily activities. They also inform athletes during training and healthy users about their physiological state Raskovic, Martin, and Jovanov The goal of the system is to minimize casualties for irst responders by providing knowledge of their health status to on-scene commanders in diverse emergencies.

The SmartShirt monitors various vital signs such as heart rate, ECG, respiration, and blood pressure.