A usage and motivational model for wearable technology: a users' perspective

O'Sullivan, H 2019, A usage and motivational model for wearable technology: a users' perspective, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Business IT and Logistics, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title A usage and motivational model for wearable technology: a users' perspective
Author(s) O'Sullivan, H
Year 2019
Abstract Wearable technology is a rapidly growing field and can have a great impact on everyday life. It is becoming mainstream, and we need to understand how and why we use it. Wearable devices are substantially different to other mobile technologies (e.g. smartphones) and to maximise their utility we must understand what motivates people to use wearable devices, and how they are used. Due to the fact that the field is new, research into this field is scarce, and that research is generally focused on specific devices. This research takes a broader view, asking "What elements affect the adoption and usage of wearable technology?"

In this research, Twenty users of wearable technology were interviewed and a large amount of "grey literature" (non-peer-reviewed literature), such as online articles, blogs and forums about users' experiences with wearable technology were analysed. Grounded Theory was used to create theories from the case studies provided by the interviews and grey literature.

The result of the analysis was two models, a usage model and a motivation model. The usage model showing relationships between certain aspects of the user experience (e.g. software experience) and different fields of use (e.g. medical). The model showed that the Software Experience significantly affected personal, enterprise (white collar) and wellbeing uses, but not industry or medical uses. The hardware experience only significantly affected personal and wellbeing uses. Input and Output methods affected all fields of use except Enterprise uses. It was also noted that Activity Tracking and Abandonment Decision were linked, as were Notifications with Organisation, and Notifications with Information.

The motivation model is a hierarchical model, demonstrating what motivates users to begin to use, and continue to use wearable technologies. The motivations differ significantly between the two. The model shows that fitness tracking and easy view of notifications are strong drivers to buy a wearable. Expectations and Price also have an effect. Once a user has a wearable, battery life and comfort seem to be the major factors of abandonment, along with the benefits that the user enjoys from the wearable and the value that they perceive of the wearable (in usefulness).

Additionally, a taxonomy for the classification of wearable technologies was created, based on the peer-reviewed literature. This taxonomy is instrumental in determining the parameters for the two models, as it defines what wearable technologies are. The taxonomy has six major dimensions: Primary Input and Output, Function, Aesthetics, Technology, On-body Location and Availability. These dimensions (except On-body Location and Availability) have a number of sub-dimensions. Classifying a wearable in this taxonomy allows for comparison of wearable devices and assists in distinguishing between different types.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Business IT and Logistics
Subjects Computer-Human Interaction
Keyword(s) Wearable Technology
User Experience
Human-Computer Interaction
User Interface
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Created: Mon, 11 Nov 2019, 08:42:26 EST by Adam Rivett
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