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    Infusing Meaning into Social Wearables: Lessons from Sentimental Jewelry

    HCI 2018

    Proceedings of the 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2018)

    Belfast, UK, 4 - 6 July 2018


    Yulia Silina & Anne Hsu



    Wearable devices play an increasingly important role in maintaining and improving the sense of connectedness between loved-ones. However, despite affording numerous novel interactions and possibilities, wearables are easily discarded. And their aesthetic and functional designs are often gadget-like, or rely on cultural clichés, underutilizing the rich history of their “analogue” counterpart of sentimental jewelry. In this paper, we conduct a content analysis study to understand practices associated with the use of sentimental jewelry.

    We uncover that in contrast to social wearables, analogue artefacts are rarely paired and are intended to be worn by female partners, friends and family members. They are seldom personalized, and either explicitly convey affection, good luck or motivation or allow users to infuse their own meaning into them, or. These findings give us insights that could increase relevance of social wearables for their users, and as a result, enhance user’s wellbeing and connectedness to their loved-ones.


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