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Sensors (Basel). 2016 May 26;16(6). pii: E769. doi: 10.3390/s16060769.

Defining Requirements and Related Methods for Designing Sensorized Garments.

Author information

1
Design Department, Politecnico di Milano, via G. Durando 38/A, 20158 Milan, Italy. giuseppe.andreoni@polimi.it.
2
Design Department, Politecnico di Milano, via G. Durando 38/A, 20158 Milan, Italy. carloemilio.standoli@polimi.it.
3
Design Department, Politecnico di Milano, via G. Durando 38/A, 20158 Milan, Italy. paolo.perego@polimi.it.

Abstract

Designing smart garments has strong interdisciplinary implications, specifically related to user and technical requirements, but also because of the very different applications they have: medicine, sport and fitness, lifestyle monitoring, workplace and job conditions analysis, etc. This paper aims to discuss some user, textile, and technical issues to be faced in sensorized clothes development. In relation to the user, the main requirements are anthropometric, gender-related, and aesthetical. In terms of these requirements, the user's age, the target application, and fashion trends cannot be ignored, because they determine the compliance with the wearable system. Regarding textile requirements, functional factors-also influencing user comfort-are elasticity and washability, while more technical properties are the stability of the chemical agents' effects for preserving the sensors' efficacy and reliability, and assuring the proper duration of the product for the complete life cycle. From the technical side, the physiological issues are the most important: skin conductance, tolerance, irritation, and the effect of sweat and perspiration are key factors for reliable sensing. Other technical features such as battery size and duration, and the form factor of the sensor collector, should be considered, as they affect aesthetical requirements, which have proven to be crucial, as well as comfort and wearability.

KEYWORDS:

ergonomics; human factors; sensor design; sensorized clothes; smart textiles; textile sensors; wearable systems

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