Inference of Latent Functions in Virtual Field
Products may possess latent functions that might be eventually discovered by users. We propose a method of inferring the latent function of a product by using it in fields different from that intended by the designers. In particular, we use a virtual reality device to realise various fields of application for the product and experimentally investigate the manners in which the types and number of latent functions inferred correlate with the strength of the new product–field relationships. The results show that more functions are inferred in fields that are strongly related to the product and that more novel latent functions are inferred in fields that are weakly related to the product.