In a current research stream, we investigate Product-Service Systems (PSS) that are anchored in holistic designs of services and products. Examples are Nike+ and even 'smart' cities, e.g., New Songdo (U-city). In the EU-project IKS, we have rigorously developed an innovation laboratory for an intelligent bathroom that is used for careful designs of integrated Product-Service Systems for private lives.

All Product-Service Systems are rigorously designed and evaluated by empirical studies that provide feedback to revised designs (Design Science approach). Special emphasis lies on testing and enhancing design methodologies for Product-Service Systems by laboratory and field studies. Product-Service Systems are implemented by using cutting-edge technologies such as semantic technologies, machine learning, RFID and other sensor technologies. They are used for innovatiions on complete environments but also for more focused designs of Smart Products such as Smart Fashion and Smart Drugs.

As one application of this research, it can be asked how retailing situations dynamically adapt to customer behaviors and how this puts customer experience into the centre of a retailer's strategy (e.g., Smart Products).

Technology drivers are most of all

  • cheap light-weight object identification technologies (e.g., QR codes, barcodes, RFID),
  • networking of any physical items (Internet of Things),
  • web-based services (Internet of Services),
  • web-based contents (e.g., linked data, semantic web),
  • extended digital product representations (e.g., EPC global) and
  • increased use of business intelligence systems (e.g., Wal-Mart's Retail Link).

In a second research stream, we investigate how knowledge about complex product and service configurations can be represented and provided in early sales processes.