Need help for Engineering Management project

Have a question or want to start a discussion? Post it! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
Hello everyone,
    I am a sophomore at Vanderbilt University taking a class called
Engineering Management 221.  Its major focus is the cumulative
development of a Technology Strategy Assessment for a frontier-level
technology (such as wireless power, OLED, holographic data storage,
etc).  My group's chosen technology, as you might have guessed, is
home automation.  More specifically, we are developing a business
platform around an imaginary Apple Inc. product line called iBode.  We
know that it might be far-fetched for Apple to jump into the smart
home market, but in many ways they already have: they in some forms
dominate the "digital lifestyle" market with the iPod and "cool"
computing hardware and OS; with the apple tv and iPhone, their
prevalence in this market will grow; they maintain the ability to seem
ahead of the competition.

    We decided the iBode would essentially be a modified Mac Pro that
would serve as the command hub for the rest of the home network.  It
would most likely be based around a modified (OSX-friendly) X10
protocol, so as to lessen compatibility issues.  We have also
seriously entertained the idea of Apple partnering with or buying
Insteon.  Our belief is that home automation is not a frontier
technology, it is an existing and refined technology that has simply
not reached your everyday Joe.  Apple's reputation, creativity, and
marketing machine could remedy this inexposure. for how we could
approach our technology strategy

    So what I ask of all of you here in this Google Group is, quite
broadly, what do you think of the idea?  How practical is the
implementation of such an iBode system?  What do you think are the
biggest potential problems we might encounter?  Do you have any new
ideas for how to approach our Technology Strategy that we might have
overlooked?  Any help will be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance,

Clay Maffett


Re: Need help for Engineering Management project
Sorry about that typo there at the end, the drag and drop strikes
again.


Re: Need help for Engineering Management project
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Do your own homework?



Re: Need help for Engineering Management project
Quoted text here. Click to load it

this IS my homework, we are supposed to gather input from real people,
including a Google Group members, PRs for companies we have
researched, etc...

I didn't think I would find bitterness on Usenet group like this, but
it happens i guess


Re: Need help for Engineering Management project
Quoted text here. Click to load it

A little unsolicited advice. In this life, you will suffer many, who for one
reason or another, have something critical or down right petty to say.
IGNORE them. If they choose to show their ass all over the internet, let
them. But the rest of us don't need to see yours. You go to Vandy, you're
much smarter than that, you know this. Now get on the thick skin and show
some self-assuredness. You will be expected to lead and show magnanimity.

Michael



Re: Need help for Engineering Management project
Quoted text here. Click to load it

It might have helped if you had indicated that your homwork was to contact
people for their help.

I havent seen it recently but for a while there were people who used to try
to get various groups to do the research that they were supposed to be doing
themselves.
The would put a question out like yours, then rephrase it and turn it in.

--
Bill Fuhrmann



Re: Need help for Engineering Management project
Quoted text here. Click to load it
contact

Indeed, thus my reply.


Re: Need help for Engineering Management project

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thus spake the disillusioned and disaffected.

So are you the only one to be rode hard and put up wet?

WIMP.



Re: Need help for Engineering Management project

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Can you help me out here, Bill? Just what, EXACTLY, is your beef with this
kid?

Please explain, "It might have helped...."

Are you scared he will get something for nothing? Or are YOU paying his
tuition?

Why are you suddenly the HOMEWORK POLICE?

WTF?!? Just who are you?

What's it to you?? Enquiring mind want to know.

Michael



Re: Need help for Engineering Management project

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Likewise.

Re: Need help for Engineering Management project
Quoted text here. Click to load it
one

Good advice.  It's obvious that this group is nearly overrun with grumpy
men, young and old, each vying for the "old coot of the month" award.  (-;
They apparently pride themselves in shooting first and asking questions
later.
We should be aggressively seeking new members with an interest in the field
instead of accusing new visitors of plagiarism or immoral behavior and
sending them
packing.

Clay, I'll address some of your comments in a separate post since I believe
what you're doing is a very legitimate "environment search" that's an
important part of research projects of any kind.

Accept my apologies on behalf of the group and remember:  "That which does
not kill me makes me stronger!"

And while no one seems to be eating crow or humble pie regarding your
unfriendly welcome, I do smell some waffling in the air!  (-:  I think it
was clear to all but a very few that you had put significant research into
your post and that we were sought out for dialog, not as a crib sheet.

This apparently is an ongoing sort of game for at least one of our regulars
according to google and a search on a certain name and the word "homework"

*******************************************************************
From: "BK"
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2006 15:35:57 -0400
Local: Tues, Aug 29 2006 3:35 pm
Subject: Re: SSID sniffer on linux, in C
Reply to author | Forward | Print | Individual message | Show original |
Report this message | Find messages by this author

Quoted text here. Click to load it
linux?
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Hmmmm, sounds suspiciously like someone asking the 'net to do their
homework.

**************************************************************

Newsgroups: alt.internet.wireless
From: "BK"
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2006 09:49:12 -0400
Local: Wed, Aug 16 2006 9:49 am
Subject: Re: Reliability of wireless networks
Reply to author | Forward | Print | Individual message | Show original |
Report this message | Find messages by this author

Do your own homework for class.

************************************************************


Newsgroups: comp.home.automation
From: "BK"
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2006 08:57:45 -0500
Local: Fri, Jan 27 2006 9:57 am
Subject: Re: Help
Reply to author | Forward | Print | Individual message | Show original |
Report this message | Find messages by this author



Quoted text here. Click to load it

By paying attention in class and doing your own homework?

*****************************************************************

Anyone else see a trend?  (-:

--
Bobby G.




Re: Need help for Engineering Management project

Quoted text here. Click to load it

What, an Olson wannabee now?  Seems more like stalking.  But hey, feel free.

Re: Need help for Engineering Management project
Quoted text here. Click to load it

There are a few positives and at least
one negative I can foresee.

It sounds like it has real potential -- not
just as a class project but as a real world
market entry.  Apple has the attention of
a significant segment of the population.
If they (you) implement an effective
marketing campaign such a venture
could gain a strong following in the HA
marketplace.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

First you'd have to get Apple interested.
They're not a pair of brave, young entrepeneurs
operating out of a garage any more.  It's a
big, established company with its own ideas
and marketing / development strategy.

The next obvious hurdles will be proof of
concept and development of a working
prototype.

With Apple's financial backing and advertising
know-how, building consumer interest will
be easier than for some of the other recent
startups (CQC, HomeSeer, etc.).  However, for
a company the size of Apple to jump into the
HA market you'll need to attract far more
consumer interest than small startups need.
The HA marketplace is still a relatively small
segment of the overall community.  It might
not be possible to develop sufficient sales
to maintain Apple's support.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Perhaps an old idea might help.  Integrate
existing technology to make the iBode
compatible with most of the existing hardware
already on the market.  Look at what ELK
Products has done with their ELK-M1G
system.  Rather than reinventing and trying
to sell lots of HA wheels, they have made the
ELK-M1G system compatible with numerous
competing HA control technologies.  This
gives them a much broader target within the
HA and security marketplace.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Good luck with your project.  Do let us know
what ideas you come up with and how the
project progresses.  Who knows?  You might
even develop something to sell to Apple or
one of the other players.

--

Regards,
Robert L Bass

=============================>
Bass Home Electronics
941-925-8650
4883 Fallcrest Circle
Sarasota Florida 34233
http://www.bassburglaralarms.com
=============================>



Re: Need help for Engineering Management project
On 16 Mar 2007 14:31:12 -0700, clay.maffett@vanderbilt.edu wrote in

Quoted text here. Click to load it


Reactions in no particular order:

1) iBode -- Good name for the Me generation.   (But comes up with 633,000
hits on Google.)

2) This is _not_ a Google Group. This is usenet. Learn the difference or
misunderstand the input (and we presume if your prof is savvy, points)

3) I agree that home automation as usually discussed in this newsgroup
(comp.home.automation) is not a 'frontier technology'. However there are
important areas that _are_ at the bleeding edge of technology and social
organization.  (And if you search this newsgroup, you will find many
topics other than how to retrofit 30-year-old X-10 technology to existing
homes in the least expensive way possible.) See my last point in this post
(#8).

4) "based around ... X-10 protocol." If you have done any research in this
area, you will know that the list of corporations that have chosen this
model and failed completely, utterly and permanently include IBM, GE,
Sears, Zenith, RCA, Stanley, Radio Shack and many, many others. What do
you know that they didn't? If you can't answer that question, or -- more
likely -- answer it wrong, you too sh/would fail.

5) You _are_ on the right track by apparently focusing on the usability
and human interface solutions that Apple might bring to bear.

6) The principal insight into what you consider "home automation" (X-10
and INSTEON ) involves primarily lighting which is but a subset. The
security market/function is at present many, many times larger than the
automated lighting marketing.  

7) With respect to security, the Apple image and the me-Centered approach
may be liability as presently framed IMO.   I, for one, do not want Apple,
or any computer company involved directly in my home security system. That
is a deal breaker for many folks, now and for the foreseeable future owing
to real and perceived security and dependability reasons.


A key issue IMO:


8) You need to successfully address the security problem (7 above) which
is both an image and a technology issue. Apple might indeed have the
required combination of social deftness, marketing panache, and technical
expertise to reframe the "security" HA function (to which traditional
'computers' and their makes are typically  unwelcome in the present
climate) to a different paradigm around sharing, e.g.,  of awareness,
presence, distributed house/baby/etc-sitting responsibilities functions
and around sounds and images rather than around private hardwired yes-no
decisions (alarm on --> call police.)

The title and premise of a recent post with subject "Stupid home
non-automation  product" gives a hint of the resistance to
non-quantitative, non-action, non-deterministic HA and security functions
in some quarters. But the portion of the potential HA market represented
by comp.home.automation is miniscule (but bigger than google groups! , so
this is a matter of understanding where HA has been, not necessarily where
it is going IMO.


HTH ... Marc
Marc_F_Hult
www.NeuralHome.org

Re: Need help for Engineering Management project
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Unfortunately, most of home automation is no longer "frontier" technology.
At least *I* wouldn't classify it as equivalent to the three other
technologies you've mentioned.  It's probably too late to change, but I
would have chosen something like digital paper, automatic car parking
computers found in some newer cars, home robotics like Roomba, GPS enabled
camera phones or *something* that hasn't been around
for almost thirty years!

Quoted text here. Click to load it

There are a number of home automation programs written specifically for
Macs.  While I agree that Apple has marketing savvy that others lack (Sony
really invented portable music with their Walkman but let Apple's IPod
quite thoroughly eat their lunch).  In my mind, the most important thing
about Apple to consider is their ability to make technical stuff
"accessible" to non-techies.  Perhaps they can bring that skill to the home
automation market, but HA doesn't really seem to be a fit for their style.
They appear to be interested in monolithic devices like Ibooks, Ipods and
Iphones.  An Ibode would entail lots and lots of little devices and a big
primary controller.  Clearly not their style.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

There you have it, in your own words:  "Our belief is that home automation
is not a frontier technology."  Oddly enough, it's not a refined technology,
either.

The Zwave standard already has split into two very early in the game, with
new devices able to make 8 hops instead of 4.  That enhancement could easily
lead an
observer to conclude that the first specification was not working as well as
it should in the real world.  As the RF spectrum and the powerlines become
noisier and noisier, we can expect to see more "corrections" to HA protocols
instead of less.

Jeff Volp has enhanced the 25+ year old X-10 technology to produce a
far stronger signal than stock X-10 devices, which worked fine when they
were first designed but suffer from increasing interference from other AC
devices.  Who knows what sort of similar problems current HA technologies
will face 20 years from now?  One thing's for sure.  We'll be seeing more
transmitters, not fewer, 20 years from now as the world depends more and
more on wireless gadgets.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I don't think even Apple can create a demand in this market for a lot of
reasons.  I think the primary one is the violation of the "simplicity ethic"
they seem to exploit so well.  Very few HA lighting control systems can be
installed "out of the box" without fairly good electrical skills or the help
of an electrician.  They market no other products that have such
requirements, as far as I know.  I suspect they are lacking in the kind of
technical support a home automation system needs.  The final problem facing
them is that the construction of an average human abode can range from the
country cottage to the city hi-rise to the concrete buildings of the
hurricane zone.  That's just too varied an environment to market a
monolithic product to and expect it to work in all situations.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

We ain't no stinkin' Google Group, although you did reach us from there! (-:
First off, forget X-10.  It's not only NOT a frontier technology, it's
pretty much getting close to being an obsolete technology.  Concentrate on
the new mesh network technologies like Zigbee and Z-wave.  They may be the
way of the future, but only the future can tell for sure.  The most
interesting aspect of HA right now is how many competing new technologies
have appeared in such a short time frame.  I don't believe there's room for
all of the currently marketed technologies to survive.  I'd be impressed if
your group analyzed the various HA topologies and picked the winners and
losers-to-be.

Good luck, Clay and sorry for the rough introduction!

--
Bobby G.






Re: Need help for Engineering Management project
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I worked with Apple on their failed Newton product.  A tragedy on a whole
number of levels.  But there was one fundamental problem, people without
'lives' were attempting to write lifestyle devices.  That's like asking deaf
people to make musical instruments.  No insult intended based on hearing
impairment, of course.  So going the next step and asking them to create a
system that integrates with the home is perhaps likewise unrealistic.
Mainly because they NEVER GO HOME, or certainly don't have a life that
doesn't intimately involve access to computers.

Then there's the whole misplaced hero-worship thing expecting the company to
be interested in playing along with the game.  The policy is almost exactly
the opposite, for if they picked up on someone else's ideas, even freely
suggested, it'd present an intellectual property nightmare.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

More like wake up and smell the realities beyond a college project.  Don't
get me wrong, enthusiasm is a wonderful thing.  But the combination of
naivete, misunderstandings of usenet/google, help with homework, etc, have
been seen countless times before.  So yeah, there's certainly some 'grumpy
old men' sentiment but it's based on actual experience.  Learn from it.

-Bill Kearney


Re: Need help for Engineering Management project

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Or worse yet, asking a deaf person to compose some of the world's greatest
symphonies for orchestras with numerous musical instruments. ;)

http://davehouston.net
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/roZetta /
roZetta-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Re: Need help for Engineering Management project
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I fear your keen observation may fall on deaf ears.  Aside from Ludwig, a
quick trip through Google reveals he was not alone:

http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=213332005

COMPOSER James Douglas has been unable to hear a single note of his own work
since illness left him profoundly deaf 14 years ago.

But the apparent disability has not stopped the Edinburgh musician going
from strength to strength.

http://www.breskin.com/annie-clark/entertainer.htm

"Deaf people enjoy music just as much as hearing people do. They can feel
the vibrations and sense pitch. They understand rhythm, and love loud
music".

--
Bobby G.






Re: Need help for Engineering Management project
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Having played many musical instruments in my life I'm well aware of the
difference between COMPOSERS and someone constructing an instrument.  Sure,
there's all manner of exceptions to every rule, but the rough analogy was
all I was after.  The comparison being that someone not practicing nor even
equipped TO practice a given skill makes it unlikely the results of their
labors would appeal to someone that did.  Witness the general lack of
usability in a great many software products, often the result of the
programmers or layers of manglement being entirely detached and not actually
engaging in the tasks the software attempts to aid.

Now, would that make it any more or less likely for a college student to
craft an acceptable solution?  Perhaps, given the recent nature of their
participation in a family household (a reasonable assumption) one might
expect them to have a good feel for what would help.  But then again given
their participation wasn't as a head of household they might not have the
'bigger picture' of actual household processess and requirements.  They
might THINK they do (weren't we all that smart?) but they've had little or
no practice actually running one.  Dorms, apartments and shared living
quarters really don't quite cut it.

But by the time you've got enough experience running said household you know
better than to fuck it up with a computer.

That said, it'd sure be handy to have a digital concierge of one's own.  One
not beholden to various advertising or other service industries bent on
pimping something.  But then you've got the maintenance issues of who's
"responsible" for this gadget.  It's definitely a catch-22, by the time you
make something broad enough in scope it becomes an irresistable target for a
"revenue stream".  Or it's complicated enough that it can't be left in the
hands of the homeowner without a fair bit of maintenance.  So selling
something to them outright, or that runs on their own gear is a headache and
presents unacceptable support costs.  But no one in their right mind would
trust some 3rd party to effectively run such a service without abuse risks.
That and the per-month fees most households shoulder now make it unlikely
they'd put up with yet another one.

So it's not that it's a bad idea.  Just one difficult to actually implement
with anything remotely resembling profitability, let alone broad usability.

-Bill Kearney


Re: Need help for Engineering Management project

BK>>>That's like asking deaf people to make musical instruments.

DH>> Or worse yet, asking a deaf person to compose some of the world's
greatest
DH>> symphonies for orchestras with numerous musical instruments. ;)

BK> Having played many musical instruments in my life I'm well aware of the
BK> difference between COMPOSERS and someone constructing an instrument.

http://www.delucaviolins.com/deluca-luthier.htm

"With his skill in design and woodworking and his love for the violin, it
was inevitable that he would turn to a career in violin making. He
apprenticed five years with Master Violin maker Benjamin F. Harrison of
Berkley, Michigan who had won numerous awards at the Violin Makers
Association of Arizona, International.

The unique feature in this apprenticeship was that Mr. Harrison was totally
deaf having lost his hearing in World War II. Prior to that he was an
excellent musician. DeLuca was taught to "tune" the various parts of the
violin using a tuning fork on the wood and feeling the vibrations through
his fingertips. His instruments have proven themselves by the numerous
awards he has won at the VMAAI as well as the satisfaction of his clients. "

Another cite:  http://www.geocities.com/~ukulele/kamaka.html

"Interestingly, two-thirds of Kamaka's craftsmen are handicapped - some are
deaf or have muscular dystrophy. Sam Kamaka began hiring the handicapped
back in the 50s, through the encouragement of his wife, Gerry, who is an
occupational therapist. It turns out that deaf people are very good at
making musical instruments, as they have a fine sense of touch and can gauge
the correct thickness of the sound boxes by drumming their fingers on the
wood and feeling the vibrations."

--
Bobby G.






Site Timeline