IDA-S (Information, Decision, Action and Supervision) is a conceptual framework for thinking about partial automation, i.e. systems in which the delivery of a system function is performed by a combination of human and automated activities. The framework offers a generic decomposition of any function into a number of elements that can be considered as primarily performed by the machine, or primarily performed by the human user or operator. The framework can be used in automation design to support the generation of design alternatives, the expression of distinctions between alternative designs, and to create operational specifications of chosen designs. IDA-S was developed to support automation design for advanced aircraft systems, and has been extended to deal with systems engineering for naval systems. This paper explores how the IDA-S framework could be applied in the design of innovative consumer products, and explores possible differences between such an application and applications in large-scale systems engineering
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