Smart wearable devices offer much potential to assist citizens in disasters. To the general public, however, using these devices for disaster applications is still a novel concept. In disasters, most people are reluctant to rely on unfamiliar technologies. Thus, for these devices to become truly useful in disasters, it is important to understand factors that affect their acceptance by the public. Previous studies show that perceived usefulness is a clear antecedent of people's acceptance of smart wearable devices. However, the underlying factors that affect perceived usefulness itself are not clearly known. Thus, the aim of this study is to fill this gap, and by doing so, to derive some practical implications for solution developers and governments. This study used structural equation modelling to analyse survey data collected from 647 respondents in Japan. We found that the respondents’ perceived usefulness of the current applications of smart wearable devices was a strong predictor of their perceived usefulness of using these devices for disaster applications. Although indirect factors such as the ownership of ICT gadgets and the usage of social media also had some influences, most of their effects were mediated through increasing the respondents’ perceived usefulness of the current applications. In other words, through appreciating the functions of the current applications of smart wearable devices, people can visualise the usefulness of these devices in disaster situations. That being said, we found that in parallel, people also had concerns on the privacy issues of these devices. These findings shed light on the promotion and development of this fast growing technology for disaster applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering