Innovation and Wearable Computing: A Proposed Framework for Collaborative Policy Design

Date of Publication: 
2015 July

The rapidly expanding market for wearable computing devices (wearables), driven by the confluence of information and communication technology and public acceptance of a design aesthetic, suggests nearly limitless potential for consumer uses. As adoption of wearables spreads, there are cultural and social impacts that represent both barriers and opportunities, with subsequent public policy ramifications. All too often designers, technologists, and policymakers operate independently; consequently, often products are out of sync, lack interoperability, or are hindered by well-meaning (but obstructive) policy. This article proposes a collaborative policy design framework, based on initial trials undertaken at a multidisciplinary collaborative engineering center, the Wireless Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center. The proposed collaborative policy design process will enhance the development of wearable devices and guide interdisciplinary collaborators as they explore the various implications and effects of device design in social, technological, and regulatory contexts.


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