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In this paper, current applications of wearable computers are reviewed and categorized according to dimensions of “time” and “reference.” The time dimension is based on whether the system uses information that is stored, information that is current, or information that can help in predicting future events. The reference dimension is concerned with the type of application, event, task, environment, person, or artifact. Each of these categories can be described in terms of its temporal features (stored, current, or predicted). It is proposed that these dimensions distinguish wearable computers from their desk-bound counterparts, and this raises the question of appropriate paradigms for wearable computers. A user-centered methodology is then presented and illustrated by paramedic and fire-fighter applications.
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