chapter  7
36 Pages

Humanistic Needs as Seeds in Smart Clothing

Required for Higher Needs ............................................................... 166 7.4 Reactions of the French and Japanese Public Suggest Humanistic Needs

Are Good Seeds ............................................................................................ 166 7.4.1 We Exploited Three Complementary Methods to Favor

Meaningful and Valid Results ........................................................... 167 7.4.2 The General Public Requests Clothes in a Pattern Matching

Maslow’s Theories ............................................................................ 168 7.4.3 Demographic Groups Assert Non-Uniformity at the Edges of the

Pattern ............................................................................................... 172 7.5 A Lively Humanity Requires Differentiated Seeds as It Grows and

Evolves .......................................................................................................... 174 7.5.1 Children’s Growth May Be Enriched by Smart Clothes for

Predictable Development .................................................................. 175 7.5.2 Elders’ Decline May Be Smoothed by Diverse Smart Clothes

for Unique Conditions ...................................................................... 177

Smart clothes, garments empowered by information technologies, may be seen as soft ways to improve the human condition without possessing or burdening people, unlike implants and handheld devices. Although smart clothes are frequently seen from the broader perspectives of wearable* or ubiquitous computing,† their creation requires specific concepts, techniques, and ingredients notably related to textile, electronics, and software. Their proper design and large-scale adoption in various countries in a short time frame also requires the selection of meaningful services and the invention of features appropriate to all members of the general public as initial disappointments may cause massive rejection, incidentally atrophying research and development structures. However, most specialists worldwide still focus on technologies and neglect human aspects, notably due to their excessive focus on the dominant vision of ubiquity (Weiser 1991), which maintains a paucity of knowledge for the exploitation of emerging technologies and for the establishment of high-impact research and development. As a result, the general public may not significantly benefit from existing prototypes, which support few true needs and were mainly thought to be for-sometimes geeky-young male adults, without considering the diversity of potential users and of their environments. Thus, we believe that a different impulse is needed, and that a humanistic perspective will immediately benefit world populations by suggesting new visions and by promoting the creation of more useful and more appropriate smart clothes.