The Ideator and the Idea: Exploring Wearable Technology Concepts and Their Sources

Nika R. Gagliardi, Mary Ellen Berglund, Julia Duvall, Lucy E. Dunne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The commercial market for wearable technologies grew quickly in a short time frame, with a concurrent concentration of applications within a narrow scope. However, consumer dissatisfaction with these applications is on the rise, and product developers are left with the question of where to focus R&D efforts for next-generation technologies. In this study, we explore this topic by assessing product concepts produced by “experts” in the commercial market along with product concepts generated by undergraduate students. We assess the salience and desirability of these applications using crowdsourced raters on Mechanical Turk and compare both the overall ratings received by individual products and the ideas produced by contributing groups for quality-related variables of novelty, usefulness, and desirability. From these, we extract both the top-rated and the most controversial concepts and assess the application types they represent. Market products received higher overall quality ratings as a group than did the student generated ideas. However, the most highly rated products were attributed comparatively to both. Further, the highest scoring and the most controversial products reveal application themes worth exploring for future development of wearable technology products. Finally, we reflect on methods of sourcing and evaluating new product concepts in this domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-125
Number of pages24
JournalFashion Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Smart clothing
  • brainstorming
  • creativity
  • design
  • idea evaluation
  • wearable technology


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