Special Session Summary When Technology Meets the Consumer: an Integrative Approach Towards the Understanding of Technological Innovations

Paschalina (Lilia) Ziamou, Baruch College, The City University of New York
[ to cite ]:
Paschalina (Lilia) Ziamou (2001) ,"Special Session Summary When Technology Meets the Consumer: an Integrative Approach Towards the Understanding of Technological Innovations", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 28, eds. Mary C. Gilly and Joan Meyers-Levy, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 374.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 28, 2001     Page 374

SPECIAL SESSION SUMMARY

WHEN TECHNOLOGY MEETS THE CONSUMER: AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH TOWARDS THE UNDERSTANDING OF TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS

Paschalina (Lilia) Ziamou, Baruch College, The City University of New York

SESSION OVERVIEW

In the last decade, rapid and radical technological developments have spurred the emergence of technological innovations. Although a growing stream of research has argued that high-technology markets have unique implications for consumer decision-making, most of our understanding of consumer behavior is 'technology neutral’ (Glazer 1995). In recent years, there is a steadily growing stream of consumer technology research (e.g., Deighton 1996; Hoffman and Novak 1996; Mick and Fournier 1998; Venkatesh 1996, 2000; Ziamou 1998). However, to the best of our knowledge, previous research has not investigated consumer behavior for 'Smart Products’Bi.e., product and service offerings that adapt or respond to changes in their environment as they interact with consumers (Glazer 1999).

This session represents the confluence of a variety of research perspectives. It brings together researchers with different skills and expertise from both academia and industry and offers an integrative approach towards the understanding of emerging technological innovations.

PRESENTATION SUMMARIES

 

"CHALLENGES AND ISSUES IN THE APPLICATION OF LIVING SPACE MODEL FOR HOME-BASED INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY"

Alladi Venkatesh, University of California, Irvine

Wai On Lee, Microsoft Corporation

This paper reports on a field study of introducing Internet terminals into the home. This study revealed that the acceptance of an Internet terminal such as the WebTV set-top box is dependent upon the existing social, physical, and technological spaces of the home, their interaction with each other, and their interactio with the external world. Analysis of the findings showed how the new technology changes the dynamics and the relationships in and between these spaces and how the home in turn reconstructs itself as part of the process of appropriation. Analysis of the findings also suggests that theoretical conceptualization of the uptake of technologies in the home needs to consider not only the spaces within the home but also the larger social space in which the home is embedded. The authors conclude by drawing out some near term implications for the design of Internet terminals in the context of the home.

 

"ESTIMATING THE MARKET POTENTIAL OF A NEW SERVICE CATEGORY"

John Rotondo, AT&T LaboratoriesBResearch

Gary Rozal, AT&T Laboratories

Mani Subramaniam, AT&T LaboratoriesBResearch

This paper proposes a new methodology for assessing the market potential of a new service category. Estimating new product or service demand continues to be a central and challenging problem in marketing science. The problem is exacerbated when the product or service is radically new and does not clearly belong to an existing category. This is often the case for technology-based products and services. The authors present a new theory and accompanying experimental procedures for estimating new service demand. Prospects and problems in extending the methodology beyond services to products are also discussed.

 

"HOUSEHOLDS AND THE NETWORKED HOME"

Erik Kruse, Ericsson, Consumer Lab

This paper focuses on the use of ethnographic and qualitative methodologies in the design and development of radically new technological innovations. One of the major challenges for technology companies developing truly novel product concepts is to understand consumers’ unarticulated needs and incorporate 'the voice of the consumer’ into the new product design and development process. This paper presents specific product prototypes and user interaction scenarios and describes how the new product development team at Ericsson used ethnographic and qualitative methodologies for identifying implicit user needs for radical technological innovations to reduce the probability of product failure for such innovations.

 

DISCUSSION

Rashi Glazer, University of California, Berkeley

The discussion leader highlighted the importance of integrating quantitative and qualitative data when investigating consumers’ interaction with technology. The presentations were linked to existing research on innovation adoption (e.g., Rogers 1983). Next, the discussion leader presented a framework to guide future consumer research technological innovations. The framework pointed to four general factors that are likely to facilitate or inhibit the adoption of 'smart’ products: (1) convenience (i.e., one-stop shopping), (2) participation (i.e., individuals and firms together design product/service offerings), (3) anticipation, (4) balance between the individual and the group (i.e., private vs. public).

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