Proceedings of the International Workshop on Rapid System Prototyping

Rapid prototyping of computer systems: Experiences and lessons

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Carnegie Mellon University has developed a User-Centered Interdisciplinary Concurrent System Design Methodology (UICSM) that takes teams of electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, computer scientists, industrial designers, and human computer interaction students that work with an end-user to generate a complete prototype system during a four-month long course. The methodology is web-supported and defines intermediary design products that document the evolution of the design. These products are posted on the web so that even remote designers and end-users can participate in the design activities. The design methodology proceeds through three phases: conceptual design, detailed design, and implementation. End-users critique the design at each phase. In addition, simulated and real application tasks provide further focus for design evaluation. The methodology has been used by the class, in designing over a dozen wearable computers, with diverse applications ranging from inspection and maintenance of hea vy transportation vehicles to augmented reality in manufacturing and plant operations. The methodology includes monitoring and evaluation of the design process. This methodology is illustrated through a description of developing pervasive computing applications in collaboration with IBM during the Spring 2000 course.