Embedded systems are now found in almost anything from toasters to hand-held notebooks to automobiles. The complexity of some of these devices can be amazing and their scope for performing intricate tasks is apparently unlimited. This does not necessarily mean that the products they inhabit are being used in a better way. For many domestic and commercial products, these potentials have only been exploited as unnecessary enhancements; an electronic sewing machine that can perform over 3000 different stitches may sound impressive, but how many of these will ever be used? A ‘better gimmicks’ design strategy does not necessarily result in a better product. At the same time, it is very difficult to predict the positive value these new ...

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