Potential Benefits of Wearable Technologies on Preschooler Outdoor Safety
Perustieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
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International Design Business Management
Master’s Degree Programme in International Design Business Management (IDBM)
AbstractThis research takes interest in the dangers surrounding preschoolers’ excursions outdoors in Finland and aims at proving that wearable technologies have potential to improve the situation. In a first step, the situation regarding traffic accidents is analyzed from a general standpoint and then with a specific focus on children. It stems that Finland’s situation has room for improvement – mainly because other countries in similar conditions and development states achieve significantly better results. Furthermore, it is clear that children are especially vulnerable to accidents because of their physiological and cognitive characteristics as well as harsh weather conditions during a large part of the year. Wearable technologies are then introduced, both from a historical and practical point of view, highlighting the ever-growing potential they hold for children safety, and presenting previous studies with similar interests. This theoretical analysis is then used as a basis for practical ideation to develop concepts improving children’s safety thanks to wearable devices. Combining interviews of preschool teachers and an ideation workshop, a number of concepts are developed and refined, offering leads for practical implementation of safer solutions than the current ones. In a next step, these concepts are stripped down to their very core in order to design a functional proof of concept as simple as possible. A prototyping phase was then carried out based on this design, yielding a working device aiming at creating a fun experience for the children while making them more visible to passing drivers and preventing any unexpected behavior. This prototype validated the core concepts and proved the potential of wearable technologies in the field of children safety, as it addressed several of the main challenges currently responsible for the dangerous situations and their deadly consequences, such as the lack of attention from children or the lack of visibility for drivers. In conclusion, this prototype enabled to prove that wearable technologies could definitely improve the safety of preschoolers in Finland, and the concepts developed along this study offer several leads as to how to practically implement efficient new solutions.
Thesis advisorMikkonen, Jussi
children, Finland, safety, traffic accidents, wearable technologies, OJAS