Nowadays we can hardly see people live without either a desktop computer, a laptop or even a tablet. As we are moving towards a technology free-world era, our lives are literally revolve around technology and technical devices. Technology advancement has no doubt successfully ease people’s life. They have made things function in a more simpler and systematic ways. Imagine an accountant who has pile and pile of paperwork and storing them using the traditional ways? In order to able access old files, these accountants have to search for many files in their archives for ages. However, with the help of computers, these accountants only required to key in their file code, and they can easily retrieve the old files which they required. Hence, the creation of computers in the mid-70s has contributed a lot to the society whereby able to simplify the everyday task of everyone.
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The term computers is being defined as how a person able to perform numerical calculations with the aid of a computing mechanical devices (Oak, 2011). In the mid-70s, the pivotal objective in creating a computer is to tackle the future paperless office culture, and thus to make the interaction between people and the digital documents easier (Holmquist, 2005). According to Holmquist (2015), the first computer was created in Xerox PARC research lab. However, the computers that we are using todays have been evolved through many generations. Most of us not even realized that the first computer – Abacus, was created in 2400 BC by John Napier (Oak, 2011). The computers which created in the first generation are normally created using vacuum tubes, hence computers in this generation are normally expensive and bulky (Oak, 2011).
In the second generation, vacuum tubes computers are replaced by transistor (Oak, 2011). Computers which are created by transistors are smaller and cheaper, and thus they are more energy efficient (Oak, 2011). However, computers build with transistors tend to release a lot of heat from the computers (Oak, 2011). Computers in the third generation are built with integrated circuits, which then evolved to computers that are built with silicon chip in the fourth generation (Oak, 2011). In the fifth generation, more and more evolution have been took place and now it is still continuously developing (Oak, 2011). Hence, in the light of completing the task of this assignment, the product that I would like to choose to enhance is laptop computers.
The laptop computer that I have chosen to make modification is Acer Aspire V5 laptop series. The model which I have chosen is Aspire V5-431. The reason I chose this series of laptop computer is because this design of this laptop is nice, and laptop also comes with a reasonable price where everyone is able to afford to purchase.
This motto of the design of this series of laptop is “thin, light and charismatic” (Acer, 2014). The size of this laptop is 23mm in height, 342mm in width, and 245mm in depth (Acer, 2014). The weight of this laptop is approximately 2.10kg (Acer, 2014). According to Acer (2014), the operating system of this laptop is “Linpus Linux”, processor’s manufacturer is “Intel”, the processor type is “Celeron” with the processor model of 1007U and the processor speed is 1.50GHz. This series of laptop possess “Dual-core” processor core.
Besides that, this series of laptop possess 2GB memory which can maximize to 8GB (Acer, 2014). The memory technology which is being used in this laptop is DDR3 SDRAM (Acer, 2014). This laptop only have 2 memory slots, and it also possess memory card reader (Acer, 2014). The type of memory card which can be read by this laptop are MultiMediaCard (MMC) and Secure Digital (SD) (Acer, 2014).
Moreover, the hard drive capacity of this laptop is 500GB with a hard drive interface of “Serial ATA”, and it also has a DVD writer (Acer, 2014). The screen size of this laptop is 14”, the display screen type is “Active Matrix TFT Color LCD” with HD screen mode and LED backlight technology (Acer, 2014). The screen resolution is 1366 x 768, Intel is the graphic controller manufacturer, and the graphic controller model is HD graphics (Acer, 2014). The graphic memory technology which is being used is DDR3 SDRAM (Acer, 2014).
The network and communication of this laptop is using IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n for wireless LAN standard, Gigabit Ethernet for Ethernet technology, and the Bluetooth standard is 4.0+ HS (Acer, 2014). The built-in devices for this laptop are webcam and microphone (Acer, 2014). This laptop also equipped with HDMI interfaces, 3 USB ports (two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port), and an Acer converter port (Acer, 2014). The input devices for this laptop are touchpad and keyboard (Acer, 2014). The type of battery use for this laptop is 4-cell Li-ion battery with a battery capacity of 2500 mAh, and the maximum battery run time is 4 hour (Acer, 2014).
There are certain features I would like to add to this model, they are stylus pen, built-in printer and scanner, as well as using finger print to log in to laptop. With these features being installed in this laptop, this laptop will be suitable to be used by all kind of people. For example, it can bring benefits to businessmen, as they often required to print and scan important documents. Besides businessmen, even students or all class of people also able to benefit from using this laptop. Apart from that, with these features even all age range of people also can benefit from these features.
Due to nowadays laptop possess touch screen, hence, it is wise to have a stylus pen being installed in this model of laptop. For instance, stylus pen made signing for documents, painting, drawing, and sketching easier (eBay, 2013). Moreover, for people who used to draw draft will be easier when using stylus pen. This is because stylus pen allow us to precisely do drafting. Moreover, for businessmen who always travel for business may find it useful because they can draw at any place and any time (Market Press Release, 2012). In fact, Matulic (2012) suggests that this innovation able to gain huge public acceptance.
Apart from the stylus pen, another new features that I propose to be added are built-in printer and scanner. This because for travel type of businessmen, it will be extreme troublesome for them to search for a print shop in a city which they are not familiar with. Though they are familiar with the city they are travelling, it is also difficult for them to find a printer shop in the middle of the night. Moreover, it also easier for them to print urgent documents at any place (Idea Storm, 2014). With the built-in scanner, it is easier for them to scan company documents which they have verified or signed to the recipient. These features able to save a lot of their time.
With lot of scam and fraud cases happened everyday, it is wise to use fingerprint to log in to laptop. With all the booming security issues, it is hopefully that with the install of fingerprint reader, this security issues could be tackle. The sole reason I propose this new feature is because everyone’s fingerprint is unique. No one has the same fingerprint. Hence, except the owner of the laptop, no one can have access to the laptop. Most of the time we will only lock our laptop using self-created password, however, password can be hacked (Berg, 2012). It means that by locking our laptop using password is very vulnerable. Besides that, using biometric password also bring benefit to people who often have trouble in remembering their self-created password (Burleson Consulting, 2014). Moreover, Heckle, Patrick & Ozok (2007) study suggest that there are 88 percent of respondents say that using fingerprint to tackle personal security issue is very useful.
The old features of this laptop actually should all be maintained. This is because people nowadays always like to bring their portable laptop computers everywhere they go, so that they will be able to do their work on the go. Besides that, there are analysts suggested that the demand for laptop computers in the emerging markets are still booming (King, 2011). According to King (2011), the market share for the demand of laptop computers have jumped approximately as much as 5.1 percent.
The originally built-in features of this laptop – i.e. webcam and microphone, as well as the touchpad will still be maintained. For webcam, there are still people who used it to have video conferencing or teleconferencing. Besides that, microphone also comes in handy for people who are conducting video communication or telecommunication (Herman, 2009). For example, people who are using Skype in order to be able to communicate with their opponents will still require both of the webcam and microphone (Sherman, 2014). Lack of one of the tools above – i.e. webcam and microphone, will disable their medium of communication.
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Besides that, as for the touchpad, the creation of touchpad is to replace the use of a mouse. Since laptop is a portable computer, the creation of touchpad has saved the users a lot of energy in carrying an extra mouse (Crowder, 2014). Moreover, touchpad able to solve ergonomic issues, whereby users will feel more comfortable compared to the use of a mouse in a long term period (Hartman, 2014). Hence, the originally built-in features – i.e. webcam and microphone, as well as the touchpad should be remained.
Moreover, the DVD-writer should not be removed, though it is kind of old school. However, there are still times we required to install computer’s software programs or games through DVD. Indeed Apple did release an iMac with no optical drive, as indicated by Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing – Phil Schiller, in their product release conference in June 2010, by dropping the optical drive able to save more power consumed by the iMac (Zibreg, 2012). However, there are still users who find that without the installation of an optical drive on their laptop will be troublesome, as they cannot install software programs or games or play movie from CD or DVD, instead they need to download them all from the internet (The Answer Bank, 2014). So, what if the users have trouble in receiving the internet conception due to the place they are staying? Hence, I find that there are no more other features that should be removed from this laptop computer. The features or functions that are with this laptop are all serve their purpose in making this laptop computer to be aligned with the theme as “portable”.
The principles that will be adopted in designing this new generation of laptop computers are technology acceptance model (TAM) and the six philosophy of Steve Jobs.
First of all, what is technology acceptance model or TAM? TAM actually is the being extended from the theory of reasoned action (TRA) (Davis, 1986). The TRA suggests that the intention of an individual will have the impact in affecting one behavior (Park & del Pobil, 2013). TAM is being used to explain the factors which able to affect one to use IT technology (Davis, 1989, 1993; Davis, Bagozzi & Warshaw, 1989). In TAM there are five elements being tested, they are perceived ease of use (PEOU), perceived usefulness (PU), attitude (AT), intention to use (IU), and external variables (EV) (Park & del Pobil, 2013).
PEOU is how one perceive that the use of technology is effortless; PU is how one perceive that the use of technology able help them to solve their problem; both PEOU and PU as well as the external variables such as age or gender have the ability to influence one’s attitude towards technology (Park & del Pobil, 2013). In the study conducted by Park & del Pobil (2013), their study conform that these five elements possess the ability in influencing their acceptance on technology.
As Kuang (2011) identified, the key principles for Steve Jobs to design a product are “craft”, “empathy”, “focus”, “impute”, “user-friendliness”, and “simple”. According to Steve Jobs, though no one will ever find out what is inside the laptop, but it is important for the designer to craft the best elements to their consumers (Kuang, 2011). Hence, it is important for the designer to be empathy with the end users’ needs, then the designer should focus on to make the end users’ needs meet (Kuang, 2011). Impute is the first impression that the end users gain from the first glance of the product. Therefore, it is important for the designer to deliver the product in a professional manner in order to gain the positive impute from their potential consumers.
Besides that, the product should be designed in a way that it is user friendliness (Kuang, 2011). This is because, if the first impression that the end users gain from the first glance of the product is uncomfortable and complicated. This “perceived” feeling will draw them for not purchasing the product, because it is not user friendliness. In spite of having the product being designed in a user friendly way, the product should also be designed in a way whereby the end users will feel that it is “simple” (Kuang, 2011). Simplicity is also one of the important elements for the end users to decide whether they should purchase the product or not.
In short, the key principles that should be adopted in designing the new generation computers should possess both the elements from TAM as well as the key principles from Steve Jobs. Though there are plenty of principles that can be adopted, but I find that both the elements from TAM as well as the key principles from Steve Jobs are very useful in guiding one to design a product which able to gain wider public acceptance.
In summary, as we are moving towards a technology free-world era, our lives are literally revolve around technology and technical devices. Technology advancement has no doubt successfully ease people’s life. They have made things function in a more simpler and systematic ways.
In order to accomplish this assignment, the laptop computer that I have chosen to make modification is Acer Aspire V5 laptop series. The model which I have chosen is Aspire V5-431. The reason I chose this series of laptop computer is because this design of this laptop is nice, and laptop also comes with a reasonable price where everyone is able to afford to purchase.
The features that I would like to propose to be added to this laptop computer are stylus pen, built-in printer and scanner, as well as using finger print to log in to laptop. With these features being installed in this laptop, this laptop will be suitable to be used by all kind of people. However, I find that the old features that are with this laptop computers should all be remained. As these old features do serve their purpose in making the laptop computer as a whole.
There two principles which I have adopted in designing this new generation laptop computer. They are the five elements from TAM – i.e. perceived ease of use (PEOU), perceived usefulness (PU), attitude (AT), intention to use (IU), and external variables (EV), and the six principles from Steve Jobs in designing computer products.
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