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Front-end and Adobe Creative Suite

Product Studio:
Samsung x Cornell Tech

How might we increase consumers’ understanding of how to take advantage of Smart Home tech?

Roles & Duties
A designer, front-end engineer and product manager.

As a team, work with Bill Lee, VP of Samsung Electronics America, to solve the challenge they’ve provided within Smart Home products:

“How might we increase consumers’ understanding of how to take advantage of Smart Home tech?”

Product Overview

Senior Home Caretakers

Ensure better care for the elderly via a monitoring system

Feature (Main):
Alerting caretakers if an abnormal behavior is detected – listing out what was observed

Research Process


GERI is a health monitoring dashboard equipped with data visualization for nursing homes to detect elderly looming health risks. 

As a partner student in Cornell Tech, I worked in an assigned team of five, potentially comprising of students across multiple disciplines such as Computer Science, MBA, Health Tech, Connective Media, Operations Research and Info Engineering (ORIE) and Law.

Each team was given a how might we (HMW) challenge by their respective companies. In response, students had to develop an MVP product that addresses the challenge. The project spanned about 4 months, ranging from research, product ideation, prototype building and product showcase.

Team Samsung (left to right):


“How might we increase consumers’ understanding of how to take advantage of Smart Home tech?”

Smart Home has recently been a growing topic as demonstrated by Gartner’s Hype Cycle where it shows Connected Home at its peak. However, one major concern within Smart Home is that its adoption is not at the same rate of personal tech like smartphones and wearables. With strong competitors like Amazon and Google, Samsung needs to find its key differentiator and root itself as a key player.


While researching the Connected Home market, one key finding was that users are unconvinced that the price of Smart Home products are being justified by its value.

What else did we find?
  • Current top uses for Smart Home tech are: Security & Home Monitoring, Lights, Energy Saving, and Convenience & Entertainment
  • The virtuous cycle: once consumers adopt smart home devices and experience their benefits, they are inclined to adopt more
  • Most cosumers are aware of Smart Home products through word-of-mouth (WoM)

So why are they not adopting??


Most consumers find Internet-of-Things (IoT) expensive.

Privacy & Security

They’re concerned about privacy and security issues

Ease of installation

Find IoT devices too confusing to install. Complicated onboarding processes.


System Diagram

We mapped out current Samsung products, user groups and use cases to explore opportunities. We identified potential wedges (in magenta boxes) and proceeded to brainstorm for ideas.

Team Ideation

We narrowed down the HMW challenge to target the health tech industry and the aging group because that's where we have found out where Smart Home tech can provide the most value.

We’ve validated this idea with RiverSpring Health, a Hebrew Home in Riverdale, where nurses tend to the elderly in a manual fashion. What’s more shocking is that there are over 800+ beds and only a number of nurses – there is only just so much attention a nurse can provide to its sea of patients.

Challenge Reframed

“How might we increase consumers’ understanding of how to take advantage of Smart Home tech?”

“How might we leverage Smart Home tech to help seniors live better?”

By highly focusing on a specific use case and perfecting it, we can induce the positive WoM cycle, further spreading the awareness and advantages of Smart Home tech, ultimately addressing our original HMW challenge.

Research Interviews

We interviewed geriatrics, hospitals, and nursing homes to further validate the market fit of our product idea. Dr. Lachs, Co-Chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, and Mr. Devray, Assistant Director of Nursing Department at the Long-Term Skilled Nursing Care at Coler Hospital, gave us invaluable insight on what types of data and charts they used in assessing the performance of seniors. Hence, we have designed our data visualizations accordingly to their input.

  • Physical aids (nurses and assistants) are better predictors of looming sickness compared to doctors
  • Performance of basic daily activity and movements are strong indicators of looming sickness or death

  • Already looking for an intergrated Smart Home system over the past year.
  • Data concerned: safety/security & clinical
  • Needs a hub that could collect data from all different devices from different brands and provide actions based on data behavior

  • 1:27 nurse-patient ratio
  • Nurses evaluate the independence and frequency of assistance needed in day for each patient
  • Data concerned: sleeping, transferring & eating



GERI: A health monitoring system for early detection & intervention of the elderly

The system is comprised of 2 parts:

  1. A series of smart devices strategically installed in the elderly's room to collect data. In our prototype, we used Samsung's smart home starter kit, specifically its motion sensor, to collect live data.

    Using Samsung’s smart app written in groovy, the data was then pushed to our “Firebase Instance.” This allowed us to work with the data, visualizing them and presenting the insight on our dashboard via JavaScript.

  2. A dashboard that allows nurses to monitor and act upon the collected data.


Product Loop

We drafted a product loop to have map out how the product will be introduced within nursing homes and how the device will operate throughout its service cycle.



Userflow brainstorm & sketches

Key Players

Who we work with and who we test with


We initially thought a mobile app would be simple and convenient for nurses for routine checks and inspections on the go. However, after talking to nursing homes and hospitals, we learned that a dashboard, specifically iPad, is more commonly used within the field.

Mobile dashboard hompage

“Location” expanded, showing where the elderly is located

• Remove Alexa & emergency alerts
• Desktop would be a more reasonable/feasible idea

Dashboard Iteration 1 from Sprint 2

In the first design, we focused on core features such as alerts and activity logs.

The homepage greets nurses with any alerts and/or warnings collected while the nurse was gone, indicating help needed and potential emergencies. The nurses can also easily scroll through the patient list on the left, checking up on their performance.

We referenced Activities of Daily Living (ADL) in designing our data visualizations for nurses. ADL is basically the metric that is used to measure “performance of basic daily activity and movements” as mentioned by Dr. Lachs. However, at that time, we were not sure about the types of charts that would best represent this data.

Dashboard Iteration 2 from Sprint 2

In the second iteration, we focused on branding. We wanted to establish a sense of trust and professionalism while not becoming stale like most medical dashboards in use.

One important design choice we included was timestamps. As alerts and warnings may vary for each patient in respect to their health records and history, having a timestamp of when the warning occured can give nurses a sense of how urgent that case really is – giving them space to prioritize.

Workable Product (MVP)

Dashboard Iteration 2 from Sprint 3*

In order to demonstate the product in its most realistic scenario, the toileting data was populated with research data mixed with real-time collected data

Leading up to the final presentation, our engineer used bootstrap and coded the site as close as possible to the design. Prior to that, we made a couple of design improvements and last touches in accordance to the feedback from nurses and physicians:

  • Activity summary for working efficiency
  • Data visualizations revised according to industry preference

*Due to tight time constraints and development issues, design was compromised in order to make the prototype working in time for the grand presentation

© 2018 Jonathan Haojaq Kho
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