Responsive and Emotive Wearable Technology: physiological data, devices and communication

Ashford, Rain. 2018. Responsive and Emotive Wearable Technology: physiological data, devices and communication. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

My research practice and thesis investigates how wearable technology can be used to create
new forms of nonverbal communication. Using devices developed through my practice,
I explore how physiological data can be drawn from the body, then visualised and broadcast.
I examine the opinions and requirements of potential users and observers of this
technology, through qualitative responses in interviews and surveys from focus groups
and field tests. I have analysed the resulting data to extract preferences and concerns,
plus the requirements for the functionality and aesthetics of these devices. I discuss the
social and cultural aspects of wearing such devices, as well as the issues, including how
privacy may be affected and the implications of recording personal data.

I examine my practice in the context of the work of the communities and practitioners in
the field, and introduce two new terms to label two sub-sections of wearable technology.
These are ‘responsive wearables’ and ‘emotive wearables’, and they form part of the
distinctive contribution that I make. Reflecting on the evolution of my practice has led to
other contributions regarding the development of wearable technology. Through this, I
identify and share the insights into the disciplines and processes required for the fusion of
technology and design successfully to evolve electronics, code and materials into research

I conclude by discussing findings from my practice, research and studies with potential
users of emotive wearables. I comment on the impact that physiologically sensing wearable
technology has on aspects of social interaction for the individual as well as for the
wider community. I open the discussion on future research by revealing two new examples
of emotive wearables — the AnemoneStarHeart and the ThinkerBelle EEG Amplifying
Dress — which have evolved from pinpointing specific areas of the focus group and field
test feedback that I undertook.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


sensors, responsive, emotive, wearable, technology, nonverbal, communication, data, prototype, aesthetics, emotions, physiological

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



31 July 2018

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

13 Aug 2018 09:44

Last Modified:

07 Sep 2022 17:13


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