Armwear : Cool Prostethics

By Marijn Geurts

This project aimed to create an emotion-driven redesign for a functional and fashionable lower arm prosthesis for early adolescents. The Product Emotion Measurement Tool (PrEmo) was used during this process.


Picture of the Armwear

Project Background

Teenagers can be very insecure about how they look, and having one arm is a very conspicuous characteristic. Even though they are very well adapted to their situation, others might react surprised or even scared. Wearing a cosmetic prosthesis lowers their feeling of insecurity, even though there are several drawbacks to their prostheses.


Prosthesis wearers only get one prosthesis - for every activity in all situations - while in fact there are situations that require different prostheses with entirely different characteristics. Sports, casual and chic are three important contexts in which people desire a different functionality and appearance from their prosthesis. 

A new product should make the prosthesis wearers feel proud to wear their prosthesis, and confident enough to act with it.


PrEmo was used to capture the emotional experience of a product in an understandable and accessible way. Nine prostheses were compared for their strengths and weaknesses, and actual teenage prosthesis wearers were interviewed for detailed insights and concerns.

What emotional responses do the prosthesis wearers, their peers and their therapists have towards the presently available prostheses designs, and how does this relate to the prosthesis humanity?


A 2D product space of the research results. The relative distances between the prostheses and the emotions indicate how much they are related. The position of the product in relation to the emotions shows the relation with these emotions. The smaller the distance, the more related they are. The distance is not an absolute measurement, but it depicts the internal proportions of the emotions. Four main product groups can be distinguished, and they are circled in the product space.

Result & Concept

ArmWear is a line of products that can be worn on any hand-shaped arm prosthesis. Prostheses in general are stiff and difficult to manoeuvre into a small glove. Due to a carefully placed zipper, the ArmWear glove can easily be fitted over the prosthesis. 

The three main functions, natural appearance, customization and protection of the ArmWear allow the teenage prosthesis wearer to quickly add protection and grip to their cosmetic glove, and easily customize the appearance to match their personal style and clothing.