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ethnography

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case studies

Uncovering new ways people use technology to connect

7 December 2012

Sony wanted to explore how people use technology to connect and share experiences and what this could mean for future consumer products and experiences. 

Creating a new media business opportunity and technology platform

2009

While global publishing company DNP had a long history of delivering information on paper and other materials, it wanted to capitalize on the emerging trend of delivering information in digital formats.

Transforming employee learning and customer service practices

To better serve customers, reduce training costs, and increase revenue, a Fortune 500 company wanted to consolidate its fragmented call-center operations to provide a single face to customers.

Using conversational insights to guide new products

Motorola wanted to investigate sharing practices among family and friends, so it could develop personalized communications applications that helped people maintain and enhance their social bonds.

Designing a more engaging visitor experience

Based on observations of how Filoli visitors naturally engaged with audio guidebooks, PARC ethnographers realized that visitors wanted to listen to descriptive information together and share “listening spaces” with each other.

Going beyond usability and incremental innovation to target new markets

The projector industry has matured. Despite the increased number of competitors and need for differentiation, innovations have focused only on incremental improvements or component technologies.

Harnessing communal expertise sharing to enhance services

If Xerox could leverage service technicians' tacit and socially shared experiences into a codified expert system, it would help improve services, revenues, and customer satisfaction.

information sheets

Methods for Ethnography: REACT

1 September 2011

Ethnographic insights have the power to fundamentally change perceptions, but it is often difficult to share observation-based insights out of context, and many clients don’t have the time to participate in workshops to absorb insights. PARC's Rapid Ethnographic Assessment and Communication Technique (REACT) compresses the ethnography process into a relatively short period of time and delivers findings that are essentially "self-presenting"…

technical publications

Back to the future of work: informing corporate renewal

Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference 2012

16 October 2012

Integrating local and remote worlds through channel blending

ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work

11 February 2012

 

 

recent resources

Filament Extension Atomizer

PARC has developed the Filament Extension Atomizer (FEA) to address problems arising from difficult to spray materials. This technology is capable of spraying materials previously either difficult or impossible to spray for a wide range of applications including spray coating, particle creation, spray drying, drug delivery, or powder coatings.

Metamaterial Devices & Applications

Metamaterials (i.e., engineered electromagnetic structures), are poised to disrupt industries, create entirely new markets, and change society. The ability to design and fabricate materials with new functionalities opens the door to a new world of possibilities ¾it is now possible to realize Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak and optical black holes, which we once thought was impossible. Beyond the realms of science fiction, metamaterials can be tailored to either augment the functionality of existing devices or create new devices with superior performances.

Additive Manufacturing: Re-thinking Battery Design