Digital appliance innovation – Improving performance and user experience though sensing, connectivity and cloud computing
Domestic chores, one of life’s necessities… Whether you love them, hate them or are simply indifferent to them, creating a good user experience matters. Digital appliances have come a long way over the last decade, utilising the latest technology to help us speed through our daily tasks. But how can current and future sensing technologies, connectivity and cloud computing be leveraged to maximise appliance performance, improve user experience and convenience? That’s the challenge the PDD team were set to explore within the laundry category; creating innovation spanning across the laundry process from dirty clothes in the laundry basket, through to sorting, washing, drying, ironing and putting away.
We looked at the entire laundry landscape from the appliance environment, competitor products & features and fabric care, through to analogous IoT products in the home. In parallel, we carried out an extensive technology review that uncovered current and future enabling technologies across sensors, communications, VR & AR, AI, image recognition, big data, software & platforms, hardware, as well as key technology trends.
Insights and opportunity areas distilled from the research were used as a springboard for innovation around the laundry experience in a multi-disciplinary creative workshop. Taking an HCD approach, the workshop team started by examining the laundry journey through experience mapping; aimed at building empathy with end-users by interrogating each step in their laundry experience, and mapping out positives and pain-points as well as opportunities. Using a series of ideation tools, the teams created a number of seed ideas that were filtered and developed into early concepts for further development, with concept mapping and prioritisation measured against consumer experience, technical feasibility, and brand strategic portfolio.
The resulting output formed a series of smart laundry concepts targeting unmet consumer needs across the laundry experience from dirty pile to cupboard.