photo: Ray Gerard

The Wearable Group at Carnegie Mellon is an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems), the School of Computer Science (the Computer Science Department, Robotics Institute, and Human-Computer Interaction Institute), and the College of Fine Arts (the School of Design). Combining a decade of investigation into the architectural and interface requirements of wearable systems, the Group is now entering a new phase of research in the area of pervasive computing.


A new study on the comfort of wearable computer designs considers functionality, device location, and user gender: Effects of Functionality on Perceived Comfort of Wearables.

In 1991, 25 participants in a summer rapid prototyping course offered by the Carnegie Bosch Institute were tasked with the following problem: within one semester, design and build a functional computer which could be worn on the body. The resulting system, Vu·Man, became the first of more than a dozen wearable computers to emerge from the project in the subsequent decade.

In the course of developing wearable systems to support maintenance, manufacturing, and collaborative tasks, researchers at Carnegie Mellon have identified or refined several conceptual frameworks regarding personal computing. At the core of these ideas is the notion that wearable computers should seek to merge the user's information space with his or her work space. Information tools such as wearable computers must blend seamlessly with existing work environments, providing as little distraction as possible. This requirement often leads researchers to investigate replacements for the traditional console interfaces such as a keyboard or mouse, which generally require a fixed physical relationship between the user and device. Identifying effective interaction modalities for wearable computers, as well as accurately modeling user tasks in the supporting software, are among the most significant challenges faced by wearable system designers.

Wearable research at Carnegie Mellon proceeds on several fronts. In order to explore and validate new ideas in wearability, the Wearable Group develops new functional systems at a rate of about one design per year. Several of these systems require system or application software, some of which is distributed to the community. Finally, a number of visionary design explorations are undertaken in order to identify new concepts or guidelines which then inform subsequent wearable designs.


Principal Investigators
Daniel P. Siewiorek [HCII] <dps+ at>
Richard Martin [RI] <martin+ at>
Jane Siegel [HCII] <jals+ at>
Asim Smailagic [ICES] <asim+ at>
Brian Gollum [RI] <brig+ at>
Francine Gemperle [Design] <gemperle+ at>
Ellen Ayoob [HCII] <ema at>
Kerry Bodine [HCII] <kbodine+ at>
Pamela Jennings [HCII] <pamelaj at>
John Dorsey [ECE] <john+ at>
Hrvoje Vrsalovic [ECE] <harveyv+ at>
Annie Luo [ISRI] <luluo+ at>
Joshua Anhalt [ECE] <anhalt+ at>
Jeremy Shaffer [ECE] <jshaffer+ at>
Matthew Hornyak [CS] <matth+ at>
Michael Beattie [ECE] <mbeattie at>
Andreas Krause [TUM] <krausea at>
Maria Danninger [TUM] <danninge at>
Christian Kissling [TUM] <christian_kissling at>
Mike Schneider [HCII] <mike4 at>
Neema Moraveji [CS] <nmoravej at>
Ashley Holtgraver [CS] <ashleyh at>
Dana Gelman [HCII] <dgelman at>
Erika Cheng [ECE] <echeng at>
Carolyn Au [CS] <cyin at>
Ira Artati [ECE] <iartati at>
Ian Kalinowski [ECE] <igk at>
Ivan Sljussar [ECE] <irs at>
Jenneca Ward [ECE] <jward at>


Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
National Science Foundation
Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse
Office of Naval Research
Carnegie Institute of Technology (ECE, ICES)
School of Computer Science (CSD, RI, HCII, ISRI)
College of Fine Arts (Design)
Technische Universität München