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Facilitating User Involvement in Development of 3D Smart Textiles For Healthcare Applications
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business. (Textilt Management)
University of Borås, Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare.
Design & Human Factor, Chalmers University of Technology.
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the 6th World Conference on 3D Fabrics and their Applications, Manchester,UK/Raleigh,USA, 2015Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Smart textiles are textiles based on different types of smart materials that can sense or react on environmental stimuli. This new technology is a growing area which exhibits characteristics particularly suitable for capturing (electro) physiological signals, e.g. to monitor ECG, EEG or respiration. These textiles most often form a three dimensional structure where different materials with different characteristics are bound together in different layers. However, in order to take full advantage of these new opportunities the textile industry needs to find new methods to develop innovative smart textile products. One strong and valuable contribution is to involve users early in the development process.

The aim of this paper is to highlight how product representations, e.g. prototypes or material samples, can be used to facilitate the communication between users and developers in the development of new healthcare solutions based on textiles. The study presented in this paper was performed through participatory observation. The case is based on the development of a textile structure with three dimensional properties for long-term monitoring of EEG signals.   

The main findings are that product representations support the exchange of knowledge and experiences between users and developers by five different facilitating roles:

Product representations serve to demonstrate (technical) solutions; to verbalise, i.e. serve to fill in were words are missing or when terms are not understood; to visualise, i.e. facilitating members of the development team to envision or adapt mental images of the intended future product; to stimulate, i.e. to inspire the development team to suggest new ideas or design; and, finally, to integrate, i.e. to unite different perspectives within the development team.

Conclusion: By using product representations during the development process to facilitate the dialogue between users and developers, the textile industry may take full advantage of the opportunities made available by new development of materials and new technology in order to fulfil users’ needs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Manchester,UK/Raleigh,USA, 2015.
Keyword [en]
Smart textile, 3D weaving, product representations, user-centered development
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Medical Engineering
Research subject
Textiles and Fashion (General)
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-8512OAI: diva2:894216
The 6th World Conference on 3D Fabrics and their Application
Available from: 2016-01-14 Created: 2016-01-14 Last updated: 2016-02-18Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, SiwSandsjö, Leif
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