Imagining futures: A collaborative policy/device design for wearable computing

Date of Publication: 
2017 March

The rapidly expanding market for wearable computing devices (wearables), driven by advances in information and communication technologies (ICT), wireless access, and public acceptance of a design aesthetic, is indicative of the near limitless potential for changing the relationship of users to information context(s). As the adoption of wearable devices spreads, there are cultural and social impacts that represent both barriers and opportunities, with subsequent policy ramifications. All too often designers, technologists, and policymakers operate independently developing products that are out of sync, lack interoperability, or are hindered by well-meaning, but obstructive policy. This paper proposes a futures-based, iterative policy-informed design framework for developing wearable devices that guide interdisciplinary collaborators early in the process of designing a research & development plan. This approach allows for the development of “images of the future” through which various potential implications and effects of device design in social, technological, and regulatory contexts can be explored.


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