The WEAR Scale


The WEAR Scale (for WEarable Acceptability Range) was developed to measure and predict the social acceptability of any wearable device or prototype (Kelly, 2016). It consists of 14 items that are answered in reference to a particular wearable. The WEAR Scale was developed by Norene Kelly using a rigorous 9-step methodology (DeVellis, 2012), resulting in a valid and reliable measure. Dr. Kelly developed the WEAR Scale as a doctoral candidate in the Human Computer Interaction program at Iowa State University and received an Iowa State University Research Excellence Award for the work.

For a wearable device to find success in the marketplace, people must consent to wearing it. The WEAR Scale is therefore a useful tool in predicting the acceptability of a wearable, and it can also be used diagnostically, to understand how and why a wearable may lack acceptance by consumers. During the prototyping stage, in particular, WEAR Scale data can provide valuable insights to correct design and marketing paths for a smoother journey to mass adoption.


DeVellis, R. F. (2012). Scale development: Theory and applications. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

Kelly, N. (2016). The WEAR Scale: Development of a measure of the social acceptability of a wearable device (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Iowa State University Digital Repository. (15230)

Kelly, N., & Gilbert, S. (2016, May). The WEAR Scale: Developing a measure of the social acceptability of a wearable device. In CHI'16 Extended Abstracts, May 07-12, 2016, San Jose, CA, USA.