Wearable as Witness

The societal problem of physical abuse persists in part because of isolation and concealment. Emerging technologies have been adapted by abusers for methods of control and by victims for methods of resistance. This project examines the intimate position that wearable technologies have with our bodies and explores the design of a wearable computer system that could record and document physical forces to the body in an effort to quantify physical abuse. This apparel or smart clothing system utilizes large area, fabric-based pressure sensors to categorize and measure the intensity and patterns of forces to the wearer�s body. As textile-based user interfaces find their way into clothing, the opportunity for computers to identify physical abuse will become apparent. This work will function both as a proof of concept and as a surveying stake to demonstrate a possible field of future investigation.