Grounded Innovation: Strategies for Creating Digital Products
Lars Erik Holmquist
Principal Research Scientist, Yahoo! Labs
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 4:00pm
Newell Simon Hall 1305 (Michael Mauldin Auditorium)
Computers used to be big, expensive and difficult to use; today, microprocessors are almost literally a dime a dozen. This means that we can add information processing to just about any everyday object, turning it into a digital product. But how can researchers, designers and engineers come up with and evaluate new concepts? And how do we assure that these new ideas are not just technically novel but also are taken up and used? Grounded Innovation is an approach that aims to balance the two axes of inquiry: understanding how the world works; and invention: coming up with something new. To do this successfully, we must both apply systematic methods, and understand the material of computation. In this talk, I will talk about some important components in the process of innovation, and how we can use practical strategies to enhance the chance of coming up with meaningful products. I will also work through a number of practical examples, both from my own research and from major companies, to show how five qualities of digital products—information processing, interaction, networking, sensing and proactivity—can be used as a resource in innovation.
This talk is based on the upcoming book of the same title, released on May 2.
Lars Erik Holmquist leads the Mobile Innovations group at Yahoo! Labs in Santa Clara, CA. Previously, he was Professor in Media Technology at Södertörn University and manager of the Interaction Design and Innovation lab at the Swedish Institute of Computer Science. He was a co-founder and research leader at the Mobile Life Centre, a joint research venture between academia and industry hosted at Stockholm University, with major partners including Ericsson, Microsoft, Nokia, TeliaSonera and the City of Stockholm. He received his M.Sc. in Computer Science in 1996, his Ph.D. in Informatics in 2000, and became an Associate Professor in Applied IT in 2004, all at the University of Gothenburg.
In his work he has developed many pioneering interfaces and applications in the areas of ubiquitous computing and mobile services, including location-based devices, handheld games, mobile media sharing, visualization techniques, entertainment robotics, tangible interfaces and ambient displays. All of his work has been carried out in multi-disciplinary settings, mixing technology, design and user studies, often in close collaboration with industrial stakeholders. His first book, Grounded Innovation: Strategies for Creating Digital Products is published by Morgan Kaufman in May 2012.