Theme: “Items for use by people living in household circumstances that enhance control and self-sufficiency.” The events over the last 2 years have disrupted normal life tremendously. Healthcare and

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Theme:  “Items for use by people living in household circumstances that enhance control and self-sufficiency.”

The events over the last 2 years have disrupted normal life tremendously.  Healthcare and education services were disrupted, jobs were lost, travel was restricted, supply chains were stalled, etc., and all of this occurred on a large scale.  Even something as cheap as toilet paper became very valuable!  As a result, many people desire to gain a sense of self-sufficiency and control in their lives.

– Visualize the situation(s) you have experienced over the last 2 years of disrupted or semi-disrupted life.

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– Consider designing a product that helps increase a sense of self-sufficiency and life control.

– To provide a reasonable bound on brainstorming, envision a physical product that can be produced for under $100 (the anticipated sales price of your product should not exceed $100 at your typical retailer).

Some sample ideas of SIMPLE products that could fit this theme:  a multi-use storage container, a survival pack, a combo device holding liquid sanitizer and wipes, an indoor/patio herb garden, specialized food and/or beverage containers, etc.

Please remember to keep the product idea ‘simple’.  A good rule of thumb to use could be “Can the average person off the street build your idea?”  If the answer is yes, then it’s probably simple.

Create a conceptual or physical prototype of their products. Ideally, this prototype would communicate both the appearance and functionality of the desired end product.

Following are the guidelines:

 There should be a demonstrable market for the product. One good way to verify a market need is to identify existing products that meet the need. Your product need not be a variant of an existing product, but the market need addressed by your product should be clearly evident. The product does not have to have a tremendous economic potential but should at least be an attractive opportunity for a small firm.

 The product should be a material good and not a service. Although many of the ideas in the course applies to services (e.g., customer needs and product architecture), many do not (e.g., design for assembly).

 The product should have a high likelihood of containing fewer than 10 parts. Although you cannot anticipate the design details.

 The product should require no basic technological breakthroughs.

Come up with an idea and write a descriptive project  A few nearest competitors (if there are similar existing solutions) and prices (if possible). A description of the product opportunity you have identified. Your description may include any of the following: Documentation of the market need, shortcomings of existing competitive products, and definition of the target market and its size. Please keep in mind that the focus is on the market opportunity and not on solution concepts.

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