Challenges and Opportunities for Use of Smart Materials in Designing Assistive Technology Products with, and for Older Adults

Danying Yang*, Louise Moody

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite the potential to support ageing in place, there is still low Assistive Technology (AT) uptake among older adults. Smart Materials (SMs) have the potential to play an important role in AT innovation without detracting from the aesthetic appearance and ease of use. The MATUROLIFE project aims to develop enhanced AT products for older adults by employing smart metallised textiles, through a design process involving older adult users and collaborating within a complex interdisciplinary space. This paper outlines research undertaken to capture the prioritised needs and design requirements of older adults, as well as their expectations of future technologies and understanding of SMs. Following interviews with older adults exploring AT acceptance, 94 older adults were engaged in a series of co-creation workshops. The findings emphasise a strong need to feel independent yet safe in older adulthood, and an uncompromised requirement to be fashionable without stigma and stereotypes. The participants demonstrated no resistance to the adoption of smart materials and technologies if they are integrated into AT products that are easy to use, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, irrespective of the complexity and novelty of the technology involved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-265
Number of pages24
JournalFashion Practice
Volume14
Issue number2
Early online date22 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • assistive technology
  • co-creation
  • independence
  • smart materials
  • technology acceptance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Materials Science
  • General Social Sciences

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