Where to Locate Wearable Displays? Reaction Time Performance of Visual Alerts from Tip to Toe

Advances in electronics have brought the promise of wearable computers to near reality. Such systems can offer a highly personal and mobile information and communication infrastructure. Previous research has investigated where wearable computers can be located on the human body - critical for successful development and acceptance. However, for a location to be truly useful, it needs to not only be accessible for interaction, socially acceptable, comfortable and sufficiently stable for electronics, but also effective at conveying information. In this paper, we describe the results from a study that evaluated reaction time performance to visual stimuli at seven different body locations. Results indicate that there are numerous and statistically significant differences in the reaction time performance characteristics of these locations. We believe our findings can be used to inform the design and placement of future wearable computing applications and systems.