Wearable technology for astronauts aboard the International Space Station is one example.
Before the 15 students in the Wearable Technology Studio in Pratt Institute's industrial design department in New York City began designing their semester projects, they researched the environment of the astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Their challenge was to create a piece of wearable technology to control the physical environment of the astronauts and to improve the astronauts' efficiency when completing various tasks.
"We approach this design problem from a human perspective, so we observe what's happening, we see where there's a problem and where a wearable device may create efficiency or a better quality of life," says Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, adjunct associate professor of fashion and industrial design at Pratt Institute, founding director of Pratt Institute's Intelligent Materials Applied Research and Innovation (IMARI) Lab and founder of Brooklyn, New York-based Interwoven Design Group, an industrial design consulting firm that specializes in wearable technology and smart textiles. She has written a book, "Smart Textiles for Designers: Inventing the Future of Fabric," scheduled to publish Jan. 26, 2016.
"And then from there, it's about where do you place it on the body? What makes the most sense? What's the most easy place to access? What is the most intuitive way for it to attach? How's it going to be the most comfortable? All of these things are things that we answer and then we look at what kind of existing sensors and processing can we use to emulate what the finished electronics may be."
-Amy Golod, US NEWS