Co-designing wearable devices for sports: The case study of sport climbing
De Angeli A
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This paper presents the co-design process of a wearable device for rock climbing, an extreme sport that requires high physical, emotional, and cognitive involvement. From the preliminary investigation of climbers’ needs, it emerged that their acceptance of wearables is mainly influenced by climbing sport-specific values like self-efficacy, trust, and adventure. Such values highlight the importance of the role technology should have beyond its functional purpose, i.e. how wearables should support climbers. Based on these insights, we designed and deployed a vibrotactile wearable device aimed at augmenting the communication between instructor and trainees and assessed its usefulness, usability, and pleasantness during an indoor climbing lesson. Finally, we conclude the paper discussing how the wearable we implemented meets the design criteria emerged from climbers’ values and reflecting on the importance to gain new perspectives on the design of wearables for sports in general.
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