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      Usability and Design of Personal Wearable and Portable Devices for Thermal Comfort in Shared Work Environments

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      Proceedings of the 30th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI)


      11 - 15 July 2016

      User-Centred Design, Interaction Design, Individual Thermal Comfort, Wearables, Affordances

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          Personal comfort is important in the design of objects and environments. However, as comfort is a subjective experience, it is a very difficult aspect to design for. This paper presents an interrogation into the design for human thermal comfort, in particular the design of personal devices for use in shared work environments. The findings of two user studies are presented, in which wearable and portable, off-the-shelf personal heating and cooling devices were deployed in the field to explore the interaction with and use of these devices in everyday settings with the aim to uncover key aspects and requirements for the design of such devices. We found that functionality and affordances, i.e. the design for versatility, appropriation and mobility, as well as control, availability, effectiveness and efficiency of use were most important. Furthermore, individual preferences, foremost the preference for on-body versus off-body heating and cooling, and aspects related to wearable design of the devices, such as aesthetics, materiality, comfort of wear, mobility and unobtrusiveness, also need to be taken into account.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Smart wearable systems: current status and future challenges.

          Extensive efforts have been made in both academia and industry in the research and development of smart wearable systems (SWS) for health monitoring (HM). Primarily influenced by skyrocketing healthcare costs and supported by recent technological advances in micro- and nanotechnologies, miniaturisation of sensors, and smart fabrics, the continuous advances in SWS will progressively change the landscape of healthcare by allowing individual management and continuous monitoring of a patient's health status. Consisting of various components and devices, ranging from sensors and actuators to multimedia devices, these systems support complex healthcare applications and enable low-cost wearable, non-invasive alternatives for continuous 24-h monitoring of health, activity, mobility, and mental status, both indoors and outdoors. Our objective has been to examine the current research in wearable to serve as references for researchers and provide perspectives for future research. Herein, we review the current research and development of and the challenges facing SWS for HM, focusing on multi-parameter physiological sensor systems and activity and mobility measurement system designs that reliably measure mobility or vital signs and integrate real-time decision support processing for disease prevention, symptom detection, and diagnosis. For this literature review, we have chosen specific selection criteria to include papers in which wearable systems or devices are covered. We describe the state of the art in SWS and provide a survey of recent implementations of wearable health-care systems. We describe current issues, challenges, and prospects of SWS. We conclude by identifying the future challenges facing SWS for HM. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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            Thermal adaptation in the built environment: a literature review

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              Using thematic analysis in psychology

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                Author and article information

                July 2016
                July 2016
                : 1-12
                Queen Mary University of London

                Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS
                © Knecht et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of British HCI 2016 Conference Fusion, Bournemouth, UK

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

                Proceedings of the 30th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference
                Bournemouth University, Poole, UK
                11 - 15 July 2016
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page):
                Electronic Workshops in Computing


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