Sustainable wearables: Wearable technology for enhancing the quality of human life

Jaewoon Lee, Dongho Kim, Han Young Ryoo, Byeong Seok Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


This paper aims to elicit insights about sustainable wearables by investigating recent advancements in wearable technology and their applications. Wearable technology has advanced considerably from a technical perspective, but it has stagnated due to barriers without penetrating wider society despite early positive expectations. This situation is the motivation behind the focus on studies by many research groups in recent years into wearable applications that can provide the best value from a human-oriented perspective. The expectation is that a new means to resolve the issue can be found from a viewpoint of sustainability; this is the main point of this paper. This paper first focuses on the trend of wearable technology like bodily status monitoring, multi-wearable device control, and smart networking between wearable sensors. Second, the development intention of such technology is investigated. Finally, this paper discusses about the applications of current wearable technology from the sustainable perspective, rather than detailed description of the component technologies employed in wearables. In this paper, the definition of sustainable wearables is discussed in the context of improving the quality of individual life, social impact, and social public interest; those wearable applications include the areas of wellness, healthcare, assistance for the visually impaired, disaster relief, and public safety. In the future, wearables will not be simple data trackers or fun accessories but will gain extended objectives and meanings that play a valuable role for individuals and societies. Successful and sustainable wearables will lead to positive changes for both individuals and societies overall.

Original languageEnglish
Article number466
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by the authors.


  • Public interest
  • Sustainable wearables
  • The quality of life
  • Wearable technology


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