The Hewlett-Packard Sensory Home Project
Editor: Kovacevic, Ahmed, Ion, William, McMahon, Chris, Buck, Lyndon and Hogarth, Peter
Author: Swan, Bret; Howell, Bryan; Solomon, Mark; Martin, Paul
Section: Industrial collaboration
In the Brigham Young University (BYU) School of Technology, we have a unique opportunity to combine art and engineering disciplines to explore a variety of industry-sponsored projects. Faculty in the school believe that for students to excel in 21st Century economies, cross-disciplinary team-based projects need to be performed on a regular basis. The question is how can cross-disciplinary innovation, design and engineering curricula be integrated to provide project experiences that teach problem definition (strategic thinking), design thinking, as well as problem solving (implementation) to student teams? This research paper reports how teams of Industrial Design (ID) and Information Technology (IT) students collaborated iwth Hewlett-Packard (HP) on projects to explore ways to design and integrate sensors in homes that enhance the health, fitness, safety, security, and energy use of individuals and families. These HP projects were intensive, six-week learning experiences where cross-disciplinary ID/IT student teams explored and defined problems, exercised multiple design thinking methods, and validated design prototypes with users in future home settings. This paper describes the purpose, curriculum, and activities that were developed for the project. It reports feedback from the participants and shows how the HP project sponsors received the project outcomes. It also analyzes results of the projects, including how the collaboration affected the students and BYU's School of Technology educational programs a year after its implementation.