Connectivity & Ecosystems

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With the theme of connectivity, Reach explored different perceptions of the camera and tablet, as well as PC, Games Console, MP3 player, and of course smartphone. Together these form what is known as an ecosystem of devices.

Perceptions are influenced by mental models people have developed to manage their relationships with the devices they own. To uncover the underlying behavioural routines by which people integrate such devices into their lives, we need to understand what influences their choice of the right tool for the job. This is an area of research that involves multiple phases, working across a number of time zones. However, the strong professional relationships within the Reach network ensure regular, close and open collaboration.

For many people functionalities are replicated across several of the devices they own; choosing which of these to use to accomplish a given task therefore is a complex process that involves various emotional and behavioural factors. Making sure all of these devices work together happily meanwhile is another challenge – especially when managing how content flows across them.

Smart devices

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This project aimed at understanding smartphone behaviours and practices in China and the United States. There was special emphasis relating to still image and video capture, usage of multiple devices across personal ecosystems, and the different contexts that influence usage of (and activities with) the multiple devices people use in their daily lives.

Fieldwork was conducted in China and USA by Apogee and STBY, in the form of in-depth video interviews on location, which resulted in design documentaries. This approach allows culturally-specific local influences to be preserved and examined within the films, whilst also ensuring the consistency of data needed for meaningful cross-regional analysis.

The research informed specific lines of enquiry that had been developed in previous projects with the client, and helped to broaden the existing base of knowledge.

Secure mobile access with Biometrics

Tactivo: User insight for product innovation

Precise Biometrics has been making secure access systems for decades, and specialise in fingerprint recognition. They wanted to explore potential consumer good markets for their new product: Secure mobile access for iPhone and iPad, using biometric technology in the form of a built-in fingerprint sensor.

Antropologerne, in collaboration with Apogee, conducted user studies and visited 10 different users in Asia (Hong Kong) and Scandinavia (Sweden & Denmark). We generated insight on the role that mobile devices play in the everyday life of the people and the need for secure access to content on these. We tested and gave feedback on the packaging, hardware and software of the new product. We helped set the direction for further product development, delivering four Innovation Vectors and we defined key barriers as well as future scenarios for potential new areas of business.

Feminine inspiration for mobile phone design

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Nokia wanted to gain insights into what women want from mobile phones and find design directions for phones with a female perspective. Indri Tulusan and Fumiko Ichikawa from Reach partner Spur worked with the Nokia Insight & Innovation Tokyo team and devised ‘collaborative innovation’ processes that started with internal “share and discover” workshops in 4 countries, and then continued with consumer insights intervention with consumers in Bangkok, including “homework’ exercises, home interviews, and co-creation workshops.

Bespoke tools were used to elicit insights and directions on both motivations and materials and shapes. The team supplemented this process with ad-hoc street interviews and Nokia internal expert interviews.

The results were presented in an internal sharing tool presenting bite size videos, slideshows, photos, where the audience in Nokia can see and hear first hand what women want. There are also executive summaries in form of PowerPoints. Workshops communicated the 5 key themes and design directions further internally and have resulted in successful product improvements.

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