Original Article

Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 465-478

First online:

Discipline-based instruction to promote interdisciplinary design of wearable and pervasive computing products

  • Tom MartinAffiliated withVirginia Tech Email author 
  • , Kahyun KimAffiliated withVirginia Tech
  • , Jason ForsythAffiliated withVirginia Tech
  • , Lisa McNairAffiliated withVirginia Tech
  • , Eloise CoupeyAffiliated withVirginia Tech
  • , Ed DorsaAffiliated withVirginia Tech

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This paper reports on a design experience for undergraduates in computer engineering, industrial design, and marketing that focuses on pervasive computing devices. Across a broad range of targeted application areas and user groups, many of the student designs have been wearable computers. Consequently, our course will be of interest to the wearable computing community, particularly in terms of our aim of bridging the gap between design and engineering. For the two most recent offerings of the course, we have utilized external observers and surveyed the students in order to validate the impact of aspects of our process and changes to it. This paper is based upon 5 years of experience and 2 years of analysis of our course, and it presents an overview of our process with both qualitative and quantitative results from these two most recent offerings.


Interdisciplinary design teams Pervasive computing design