Unshackling the Wearable Revolution - How UX Can Help Realise the Potential of Wearable Devices

Brought to you by The User Experience Group

Wearable devices represent a US$1.4bn industry with predicted growth to $50bn by 2018; and it is expected that in the coming decade wearable technology will touch nearly every aspect of our lives.

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About the event

Wearable devices represent a US$1.4bn industry with predicted growth to $50bn by 2018; and it is expected that in the coming decade wearable technology will touch nearly every aspect of our lives. With its current focus on the three tenets the Quantified Self, Notifications and Augmented Reality, the wearable space already presents important challenges for both technology and design. However, the true test of success for any wearable will only be realised when the device is worn as a natural extension of the person. The User Experience is fundamental to its realisation and at this timely and pertinent half-day SIG we will discuss how the combination of smarter hardware and smarter user experience design may help unshackle the true potential of wearable technology.

In taking its first steps beyond the smartphone revolution the wearable technology has enormous potential across numerous markets, but for mass adoption it has to be wearable, controllable and enhancing. Can the wearables promise of truly new, truly personal user experiences be realised, or are wearable devices destined to languish as mere extensions of our smartphones for some time to come?

Our panel of highly regarded experts will explore this and other critical challenges and opportunities – for both technology and design - of the wearable space.


The agenda also features a Bring and Share session. This session is now an established part of the User Experience SIG meetings.  Participants are invited to give a short (5 minute maximum) presentation of a User Experience that they consider to be noteworthy – whether exceptionally good, exceptionally bad, or just plain unusual!  The proposal should be submitted for consideration before the meeting.  Examples can come from any walk of life, whether work or home, public or private;  they can be high tech, low tech or no tech; any product or service.  The only restriction is that it should not be used as an opportunity to pitch the presenter’s own product or service. 

The Cambridge Wireless User Experience SIG is championed by Stefano Borini of Nokia Research Centre Giuliano Maciocci of Qualcomm, Allan MacLean of Amdeo, Geoff McCormick of Alloy and David Walker of Philips Research Laboratories.

To follow this SIG on Twitter, @CambWireless, please use #CWUX


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The information supplied below may be subject to change before the event.


Registration & Networking over Lunch


Introduction to the Cambridge Wireless User Experience SIG from Allan MacLean of Amdeo


Welcome from our host, Claire Green, Senior Associate, Taylor Vinters


Me Too Wearables: Why Today’s Wearable Devices are Ultimately Boring - And why they don’t have to be; Giuliano Maciocci, Staff Product Manager, Qualcomm




Wearables in the Here and Now; David McGookin, Aalto University

Existing wearable interaction has largely focused on providing notifications, or acting as extensions to the things we normally do with smartphones. Through recent work on multimodal interaction (audio, haptic and visual interaction) I will cover new scenarios of use for wearable technology, and how we might go beyond smartphones to use technology to that connects us to each other and the world around us, enabling truly smart cities.




Shackles off where’s Harry?; Val Mitchell and Darren Southee, Loughborough University

Wearables, whilst freeing the user from many of the usability shackles intrinsic to tablet and mobile, can create new shackles for the user which if not considered during design will ultimately curtail the User Experience. With only passing reference to Harry Houdini we will reflect on some of these potential new UX pitfalls and how they can be overcome through user centred design.




Coffee/Tea & Networking


Cracking the Cultural Code of Wearables; Simon Roberts, Founder, Stripe Partners

My talk will explore what is attractive and unattractive about the current wearables vision. I’ll suggest that the long human history of wearables provides some clues for designing things which people actually want to adorn their bodies with.




Bring & Share Session

Open to delegates who want to present a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ example of User Experience. Each delegate is limited to 3 min each.
 Matt Dobson, Kinneir Dufort
 Erik Jacobson, Accenture Digital
 Geoff McCormick, Alloy


Panel Session with all speakers chaired by SIG Champion, David Walker of Philips Research Laboratories


Fill in Evaluation Forms


Event Closes


Giuliano Maciocci

Geoff McCormick

Geoff has worked as a business consultant in the design industry for over 10 years. In that time he has worked with some of the world's most famous and successful designers, where his role was to help designers, companies and brands to try and maximise the commercial effectiveness of design. His experience covers every populated continent and a diverse range of sectors, including developing a mobile petrol retail station, an interior design system for VIP aircraft, hydrogen powered vehicles, packaging strategies for FMCG brands and innovation programmes utilising Asian sourcing. It is this breadth of experience that he values most. Common across all of his clients and projects is the desire to create truly unique experiences that occupy a space in peoples' hearts and minds.

David McGookin - Aalto University

Val Mitchell - Senior Lecturer, Loughborough University

Darren Southee - Senior Lecturer, Loughborough University

SIG Champions

Marine Barbaroux - Head of Design, Geckoboard

Marine is a product and UX designer in Cambridge and has been in and around the design field for more than 20 years. With an education in product design and graphic art, she joined the world of software for a good number of years. Currently, she works at Geckoboard. She's designed a number of products and managed UX teams both in France and in the UK, mentored at Springboard (now TechStar London), and recruited a fair number of whatever-the-flavour-of-the-month-is-UX-o-tronologists you can think of... For her, design is about problem-solving more than anything. The role of a designer is to come up with novel concepts where required, but also make sure those are realistic and achievable. Cooperation is key. In her spare time, she works with acrylics, Photoshop and Illustrator to keep the creative juices flowing!

Allan MacLean - Director, Amdeo

Amdeo specialises in the development and exploitation of high tech innovations. Amdeo principal, Allan MacLean, has worked in research and management roles at the leading edge of Information and Communication Technologies for over 25 years. He was a founder member of Xerox's European Research Centre in the 80's and was a major contributor to building it into one of the world's leading centres of expertise in the user centred design of innovative technologies. In 2002, he co-founded Image Semantics, which he helped lead to become a global provider of innovative mobile applications and services. Allan has frequently advised on funding programmes in the UK, Europe and North America to help improve the fit between technologies and human needs and improve the exploitation of government funded research.

Leo Poll - Director, Keen Design

Technically everything is possible, making it work for people is where the real challenges are. Addressing these challenges from an end-user perspective in a way that makes business sense is what drives Leo. With more than 20 years of experience in Innovation driven Experience Research and Design he is able to bring an ability of strong lateral thinking combined with broad domain knowledge of applications/markets and technical enablers. Previous to his role at Akendi, Leo worked for the mobile phone division of Philips in Le Mans, France, managed numerous international projects whilst employed by Philips Electronics UK, was a member of the global 'Connectivity Programme' board of Philips Research, (Co-)founded Ryppel Ltd, Eversfield Innovation Ltd, Galileo Software Adviesbureau v.o.f.

Event Location

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Location info

Taylor Vinters, Merlin Place, Milton Rd, Cambridge, CB4 0DP

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