My research group in Aachen is working on a nice project (EMOTIO) on the next generation of customization toolkits. Our idea is to extend the conventional configuration of custom products before you order the product by an embedded solution that would allow you to configure your product while you are using it!
We need your feedback on how you evaluate this idea. There is a short (15 min) survey that presents you some use cases of such an embedded toolkits:
Funded by the IMP-Project Fund within Germany's "Elite initiative", our project wants to pilot these toolkits and get a better understanding on their acceptance by users.
With our survey, we study this phenomenon in the automobile sector. Cars are rather complex products that include a wide array of features and characteristics. There also is a lot of configuration of cars before you buy it. But in the usage stage, you can just adapt your seats and similar changes. With some future technology, customizing a car while you are using it, however, could go much further!
In general, think of an embedded auto toolkit as a user interface that is supposed to enable drivers to change certain features or vehicle characteristics of their car at any time after the purchase. This idea is based on the assumption that users develop new customer needs during the usage period of a product. By using the product the users realize needs that they did not think about when buying the product. Thus, by the means of an “embedded configurator”, certain design decisions are postponed into the user domain and the fit to market can be improved. You will get the idea from the scenarios presented in the survey, so please participate!
We will publish a summary of the feedings here! For more information on this project, contact me or Frank Steiner.