Count three for wearable computers

  • S. Woolley, H. Bristow, C. Baber, Soonghwan Ro, J. Cross, A. Schwirtz, G. Reynolds, R. Foster
  • Electronic Systems and Software, February 2004, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (the IET)
  • DOI: 10.1049/ess:20040106

What is it about?

A simple classification of wearable computing devices is discussed, with aspects covered ranging from technical capabilities, to likely functionalities, to user interaction. In addition, engineering challenges are reviewed and suggestions made towards resolving them.

Why is it important?

It is suggested that many complex schemes collapse into a simple three-tier classification, and this is discussed for wearable computing devices. The engineering challenges that must be overcome to see wide-spread adoption are also discussed.


Dr Robert N Foster
University of Birmingham

This was my first ever publication (well, in a journal; the related Eurowearables 2003 conference paper was presented in September 2003). My involvement in the paper stemmed from the summer placement I took within the school/department (it changed names a few times whilst I was there!) between my third and final years of my MEng at Birmingham. It is interesting to look back on this review and see how some things have not really changed at all! The significant change, of course, is the switch from wired to wireless communication links. We are still some way from wide-spread adoption of wearable computing devices, but fitness trackers and smart watches show it is almost upon us!

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Robert N Foster

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