The challenge of wearable innovation

  1. The human body as interface
  2. The Wearable Gap: What is happening in the wearable market
  3. So, how to cross the Wearable Gap ?

The human body as interface

Figure 1: The whole human body as canvas for system interactions.
Figure 2: Miniaturisation of electronic components from dekstop computers to wearables.

“The human body as a canvas for system interactions”

What is happening in the wearable market:

How wearables have evolved

Figure 3: Wearable accessories: Activity trackers [image from]
Figure 4: Partly integrated electronics: Levi’s x Google Jacquard Commuter Jacket

Consumer excitement

Figure 5: The Wearable Gap

The Wearable Gap:

So, how to cross the Wearable Gap?

Picking the right road: Professional wearables

Figure 6: Mission Navigation Belt by Elitac

Tackle technical issues

  • Conductive yarns, that can be used in knits, wovens etc. [Commuter jacket Levi’s x Google Jaqcuard].
  • Conductive Inks, screen printed onto the fabric. [Imec, Holst Centre].
  • Conductive patches or wiring, embedded into a film, laminated on top of the fabric. [Elitac, Clothing+ ].
Figure 7: Main wearable electronic techniques and shared technical hurdles
  • Robustness of electronic connections and strain resistance, also in heavy use over time.
  • Waterproofing of battery and connectors, so they are washable and do not need to be taken out of garments.
  • Power management within the garment; allowing it to work all day — without the need of charging.
  • Sizing; Cover different garment sizes and gender differences with a limited set of electronic circuits.
  • Producibility and scalability; Working with techniques that allow for mass production, with reproducible and controllable processes.

Leaping the Wearable Gap in simple steps




Wearable Product Designer at Ann.ID

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Anneke van Abbema

Anneke van Abbema

Wearable Product Designer at Ann.ID

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