ABSTRACT

As the next generation of smartphone and tablet computers, wearable devices are currently being developed and available in market in various forms. Smart clothing is a wearable device that holds the greatest potential for future development but low in market penetration. This study was designed to identify factors that influence adoption and diffusion of smart clothing. In-depth interviews with potential consumers who were knowledgeable about and interested in smart clothing were conducted. A semantic network analysis method was used. The results showed that consumers perceived smart clothing as a garment rather than as a type of wearable device and had a positive perception of smart apparel as more convenient and advanced than functional apparel. At the same time, however, consumers had a negative perception of smart clothing as unnecessary, ugly, and injurious to health. Consumers also worried that wearing smart apparel over long periods of time would negatively impact their health. Factors affecting resistance to smart apparel included low utility, perceived risk, and lack of aesthetic completeness. Usefulness and convenience were factors that affected the acceptance of smart clothing. The innovativeness of the product was more influential than consumer innovativeness in the process of adoption and diffusion of smart clothing.

KEYWORD

innovation diffusion, consumer innovativeness, semantic network analysis, smart clothing, potential adopter

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