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ICT innovation / Product Design and Development

This course is offered at the University of Trento by the security group in the framework of the three main Master offered by Trento (Security and Privacy, Internet Technology and Architecture, Service Design and Engineering) within the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (ICT Labs).

See the UNITN S&P EIT page for further information on the Security and Privacy courses.

Course Objective (2015/2016)

This course illustrates the key steps of product design and developement and guide students, forming multi-disciplinary teams, into the development of a “product” as opposed to just a “project”.

We often see nice proof-of-concept research demonstration of useful tools in magazines or on web-sites. What does it take to make this a product? For example, suppose we are building a tool that provides a better interface to a hardware device. On our blog we can say “A brief search on the internet shows us the right data-sheet for the product”. This is not feasible in a product and must be replaced by a web service, that delivers the right results to our own customers.

This course should allow students to experience what it takes to transform an idea into a product.

Credits (6-9 ECTS)

This course is normally 6ECTS credits for MSc students enrolled in Trento or for EIT/ICTLabs students joining Trento as exit students. For EIT/ICTLabs master students having Trento as entry students this course will yield 9 credits as it includes the credits for the EIT/ICTLabs summer school.

Course Structure

  • Learning: Lectures on Product Design and Development (PD&D)
    • Introduction
    • Product Specifications
    • Concept (Mostly selection and testing)
    • Product Architecture
    • Prototyping and robust design
    • Patents and Intellectual Property
  • Thinking: Concept's Idea Canvas (up to 10/30 grade points)
    • Each team will produce a concept's idea canvas to clarify the key strong points on their product
  • Designing: Product design and architecture (up to 10/30 grade points)
    • Teams will produce a poster explaining how their product will work
  • Producing: Product prototype (up to 15/30 grade points)
    • Each team will have a small budget for hardware/software and will have to actually present a working product

Overarching Learning Objectives

  • Creativity: How to solve problems when not all steps are completely specified (this what you should try to do with your design/architectural result)
  • Intellectual Transformation: How to transform an idea into a product (the first “brainstorming” step is your research canvas, the last one is the final product)
  • Leadership: Organize yourselves into a team and arrive to make a final product (you should try to leverage on each other’s competences)
  • Making value judgement: Decide which parts are important and which are not (this should be an important part of the process that produce a lean design, as you have no time to make a sophisticated one with parts that you don’t need)


Prof. Fabio Massacci

Teaching Assistants: Bernardo Villalba Frías (Embedded Systems), Luca Allodi (Security and Privacy), Stefano Tranquillini (Service Design and Engineering), Giulio Giarola (Wireless Networking).


Karl T. Ulrich and Steven D. Eppinger. Product Design and Development. 5th edition, Irwin McGraw-Hill, 2012.

There is also an eBook with a subset of the chapters that is used as a textbook for Karl Ulrich's Product Design on-line Course on Coursera for 30$. You can go to McGraw-Hill on-line shop and then search for Karl Ulrich or ISBN:9781308099064.

Spring 2016

Product's Idea

The following idea for the product by Samy Kamkar has been selected for the 2016 course.

SkyJack is a drone engineered to autonomously seek out, hack, and wirelessly take over other drones within wifi distance, creating an army of zombie drones under your control.

More details on the idea are available on Samy Kamkar's webpage. Read them.

Best Projects

  • Concept Idea Canvas Show at CLC: 8 projects were presented and some of them were definitely innovative, 0Drones the mass-marketsolution for a drone-free home, DrEagle slightly more upscale drone-free home device, Sheper-D and SkyPD focus on keeping airports and facilities drone free
  • System Architecture Poster Show at CLC (Sorry no picture here)
  • Product ShowRoom at Airport Caproni: two of the best project were Evolo, the simplest one, as well as SentinOwl which was the most technically challenging.
ict_innovation_2016.1487542246.txt.gz · Last modified: 2021/01/29 10:58 (external edit)