Georgia Tech researchers surveyed people in both the United States and South Korea to gain cultural insights into perceptions of the use of e-textiles, or electronic devices, stitched into everyday clothing.
Participants in the survey overwhelmingly said they would prefer the wrist and forearm as locations for e-textiles, feeling other locations might cause awkwardness, embarrassment or strange looks, a university release said.
"This may be due to the fact that these locations are already being used for wearable technology," said Halley Profita, a former Georgia Tech industrial design graduate student who led the study. "People strap smartphones or MP3 players to their arms while exercising. Runners wear GPS watches."
Among their findings, the researcher said, was that Americans are uncomfortable when men used a device located at the front pant pocket region or when women reached for their torsos or collarbones.
South Koreans reported exceptionally low acceptance of women using the devices anywhere except for their arms.
"South Koreans also said they wanted an easy-to-use system, but the technology should not make them look awkward or weird," Profita said. "This isn't surprising because their culture emphasizes modesty, politeness and avoidance of embarrassing situations."