Attitudes and Acceptability of Smart Wear Technology: Qualitative Analysis from the Perspective of Caregivers

  • Received : 2012.09.28
  • Accepted : 2012.12.14
  • Published : 2012.12.30


Smart wear integrates computing technology into fabric or a garment for additional functionality. This research explored the attitudes and opinions of the use of smart wear from the viewpoint of caregivers. Thirty two individuals including care providers of children and adult family members with health problems participated in focus group interviews. Participants reported being interested in smart wear because of the potential to detect the location (GPS) of a dependent (e.g., child, elderly) and to monitor vital signs. Participants indicated perceived advantages of smart wear such as identifying geographical location and effectiveness. Perceived concerns mentioned were privacy/security issues and accuracy of data. Participants taking care of dependents without a specific disease were hesitant to adopt and pay for smart wear. However, caregivers of elderly individuals expressed positive adoption intentions and willingness to reasonably pay for smart wear. They indicated expectations that potential insurance would provide coverage for cost savings. Caregivers expressed the need of specific requirements for future adoption such as customizability, and comfort/safety. Specific to smart wear clothing, most respondents preferred it be an undershirt or a jacket with a sensor located in the shoulder area. The findings from this study can be used in product development, promotion and marketing of smart wear.


smart wear;caregiver;dependents;perceived advantage;perceived concern;acceptability


  1. Stewart, D. W., & Shamdasani, P. N. (1990). Focus groups: Theory and practice. Applied Social Research Methods Series, 20, Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
  2. Sardini, E., & Serpelloni. (2010, September). Instrumented wearable belt for wireless health monitoring. Proceedings of Eurosensoors. Linz, Austria.
  3. Rogers, E. M. (1995). Diffusion of innovations (4th Ed). New York, NY: The Free Press.
  4. Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovation (5th Ed). New York, NY: The Free Press.
  5. Peksoz, S., Park, H., An, S, K., & Cao, H. (2009). Smart clothing for firefighter protection, Proceedings of the Intelligent Textiles and Mass Customisation International Conference, Casablanca, Morocco. (ISBN: 978-9954-8878-1-4).
  6. Rogers, E. M. (1962). Diffusion of innovations. New York, NY: The Free Press.
  7. Park, H., & Noh, M. (2011). The influence of product attribute of smart clothing on initial trust and purchase intention: Focused on sensor-based smart clothing. Journal of the Korean Home Economics Association, 49(6), 13-22.
  8. Paradiso, R., Loriga, G., & Taccini, N. (2005, Sep.). A wearable health care system based on knitted integrated sensors. IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine, 9(3), 337-344.
  9. Paek, K., & Ashdown, S. (2009). Development and analysis of smart jacket for the elderly. Journal of Korean Society for Clothing Industry, 11(2), 315-325.
  10. Pandian, P. S., Mohanavelu, K., Safeer, K. P., Kotresh, T. M, Shakunthala, D. T., Gopal, P., & Padaki, V.C. (2008). Smart vest: Wearable multi-parameter remote physiological monitoring system. Medical Engineering and Physics, 30, 466-477.
  11. Mann, S. (1996). Smart clothing: The shift to wearable computing, Communications of the ACM, 39(8), 23-24.
  12. Noh, M., & Park, H. (2011). Acceptance of the smart clothing according to trend and information innovation. Journal of the Korea Contents Association, 11(11), 350-363.
  13. Noury, N., Dittmar, A., Corry, C., Baghai, R., Weber, J.L., Blanc, D., Klefstat, F., Blinovska, A., Vaysse., S., & Comet, B. (2004). VTAMN-A Smart clothe for ambulatory remote monitoring of physiological parameters and activity, Proceedings of the IEEE EMBS Conference, 3266-3269.
  14. Lim, H. (2009). Smart underwear for diabetic patients. Journal of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, 6(1), 1-11.
  15. Lymberis, A. (2005). Progress in R & D on wearable and implantable biomedical sensors for better healthcare and medicine. Conference on Microtechnologies in Medicine and Biology. N/A 296-298.
  16. Lind, E. J., Jayaraman, S., Park, S., Rajamanickam, R., Eisler, R., Burghart, G., & McKee, T. (2007). A sensate liner for personal monitoring applications, In Digest of Papers of the 1st International Symposium on Wearable Computers, 98-105. Los Alamoitos, CA:IEEE Computer Society.
  17. Langenhove, L. V., & Hertleer, C. (2004). Smart clothing: A new life. International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, 16(1/2), 63-72.
  18. Lee, J. (2011). Suggestion of functional smart jacket based on wearable technology, Journal of Korean Society of Clothing and Textiles, 35(3), 292-303.
  19. Rogers, E. M. (1983). Diffusion of innovations (3rd Ed). New York, NY: The Free Press.
  20. Kim, H., Park, S., Kim, T., & Suh, C. (2011, November). Survey on the perception and preference on the smart wear to prevent child missing, Poster Session presented at 2011 Fall Conferece of the Society of Fashion and Textile Industry, 265-267.
  21. Ko, E., Sung, H., & Yun, H. (2009). Comparative analysis of purchase intensions toward smart clothing between Korean and U.S. consumers. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 27(4), 1-16.
  22. Kang, K., & Jin, H. (2007). A study on consumers' clothing buying intention adopted by the Technology Acceptance Model. Journal of Korean Society of Clothing and Textiles, 31(8), 1211-1221.
  23. Ariyatum, B., & Hollands, R. (2003). A Strategic Approach to New Product Development in Smart Clothing. White paper. Retrieved from http:// CD_doNptOpen/ADC/final_paper/135pdf
  24. Ariyatum, B., Holland, R., Harrison, D., & Kazi, T. (2005). The future design direction of Smart Clothing development. Journal of Textile Institute, 96(4), 199-210.
  25. Baker, L. (2006). Levis redWire DLX Jeans iPod ready, Retrieved from http://www.searchenginejournal. com/levis-redwire-dlx-jeans-ipod-ready/2743/
  26. Baurley, S. (2004). Interactive and experiential design in smart textile products and applications. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 8(3-4), 274-281.
  27. Dunne, L. E., Ashdown, S. P., & Smyth, B. (2005). Expanding garment functionality through embedded electronic technology. Journal of Textile and Apparel Technology and Management, 4(3).
  28. Farringdon, J., Moore, A. J., Tilbury, N., Church, J., & Biemond, P. D. (1999). Wearable sensor badge and sensor jacket for context awareness. Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Wearable Computers. (ISWC). 107-113.
  29. Friedl, K. E. (2003). Signs of illness: When will technology provide greater advantage than the practiced eye of the clinician (or the military commander)? Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics. 5(5), 857-859.
  30. Jovanov, E., O'Donnel Lords, A., Raskovic, D., Cox, P. G., Adhami, R., & Andrasik, F. (2003). Stress monitoring using a distributed wireless intelligent sensor system. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine. 8(3). 49-55.
  31. Suh, M., Carroll, K., & Cassill, N. (2010). Critical review on smart clothing product development. Journal of Textile and Apparel Technology and Management, 6(4)
  32. Tao, X. (2001). Smart Fibres, Fabrics and Clothing. Cambridge: CRC Woodhead Publishing Ltd.

Cited by

  1. Implications of Smart Wear Technology for Family Caregiving Relationships: Focus Group Perceptions vol.53, pp.10, 2014,
  2. Explore consumer needs and design purposes of smart clothing from designers’ perspectives 2017,


Supported by : Yeungnam University