Smart Home Innovation
Overview: Explore smart home early adoption, understand how people are using voice assistants and other new technologies, look for unmet needs.
Method: 12 in home interviews, all with smart devices, 6 with voice assistants and 6 without, 6 in CA and 6 in Houston TX, age range 30-59.
Findings: Major concerns were setup, energy use, security, privacy of information with a voice assistant, interoperability, adding more devices and falling short of truly being useful. Delights were easy shopping, quality speakers, fun with the new “family member”, control from outside of the home.
Results: This project spawned follow up work and led to an inventor patent submission-First Respondent Digital Assistant Emergency Recognition and Communication Device, filed April 2017 International Application No. PCT/US2017/028910
Digital Smart Scanner
Overview: Explore college libraries, focus on technology, copiers, scanners, internal systems and interacting with physical books.
Method: Interviewed a college librarian, conducted ethnographic visits to 3 college libraries and did contextual interviews with 6 students from 4 colleges.
Findings: Some publications were difficult to find, reserving space to study can be difficult, some books are too large or heavy to scan information easily, phone pictures may be hard to review, checking out is not easy, some books can not leave the library, there is no easy way to find related materials, proper citations are difficult. A paper prototype of a portable scanning device was created and tested with additional students.
Results: This research led to the creation of a new product, a digital scanner that is portable and includes features to digitally enhance physical content by highlighting related content and providing proper citation formats. The EU patent has been granted, Mobile Device with Transparent Display and Scanner Patent WO2018063339
Technology in Education
Explored schools and student homes in three countries to understand how technology was being implemented into the schools. Found the 1-1 model to be desired as long as there was an IT budget and training for the teaching staff. Parents needed reassurance that their child would not be held responsible for an expensive device.