Recently, the boundaries between smartphones, tablets and ultrabooks are becoming much more blurred than before. To sustain in a fiercely competitive environment, global brand companies start to design multi-functional products to satisfy diverse consumer requirements. For instance, Asus and Lenovo design Padfones (a smartphone inside) and Yoga Pro3 (a micro-projector inside) to enhance visualization of smartphones and tablets, respectively. Meanwhile, Acer, Sony, and Fuji develop varieties of tablets like Padbooks (pad + keyboard) and Padnotes (pad + stylus pen) to enhance keyboard interface. In this study, a TRIZ (theory of inventive problem solving) based framework is presented to analyze these innovative ideas and indicate how innovative solutions tackle the trade-offs between the improving features and the worsening features. Thereafter, rough set theory (RST) is applied to elicit the causalities between user preferences for ergonomic features and demographic variables. Finally, product recommendation w.r.t. the niche segments can be accordingly achieved.
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