Welcome to The Quality Factory!
We are all about “Bringing Quality to the Masses” which is a long way of saying that we are all about Excellence!
You may be asking yourself: “What qualifies YOU to talk about Excellence?”
Let me tell you a little bit about myself, and what sets The Quality Factory apart from other “so called quality experts”…
My name is Peter Hauser and I am willing to bet that you have used or are right now using a product that was tested using tools and techniques that I developed. And I bet that you are loving it!
I know, that’s a bold claim, but let me explain…
Approximately ten years ago, I joined Microsoft’s hardware division to help develop a new technology and product line that was code-named “Go Huge”.
This was to be the first optical mouse that could track on ANY* surface and was poised to replace the traditional ball mouse technology of the time.
The problem was, that this technology had never been implemented in a mass-produced consumer product before and no technique had been developed to test such a product both in development or at the factory.
As the test engineer on the project, my job was to figure-out how to test the optical technology such that every mouse that was built met the marketing promise of better tracking performance on most surfaces than a traditional ball mouse.
Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy.
Nobody knew how to characterize the world of surfaces and correlate them to the characteristics of this new technology. This, would become “my job”. For the next three years (1998-2001) I would work with some of the best engineers I have had the pleasure of working with to develop this revolutionary new tracking technology. It was a big challenge, though my background helped me make sense of the world of surfaces as seen by a mouse’s sensor…
My origins are in Electrical Engineering. I graduated from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia in 1997. My goal was to eventually design glass cockpits for aircraft. As such, I took a bizarre mix of courses ranging from Kinesiology to Archeology to Electronics, ASIC design, and Systems.
Between semesters, I would work for 4-8 months in industry at such places as Hughes Aircraft of Canada, Dynapro Systems Inc. (now a division of Rockwell), and Dornier GmbH. in Germany (now part of Daimler Aerospace). These contracts exposed me to various critical tasks to hardware and software development including writing specifications, developing electronic components for satellites, interfacing with international partners, and testing complex control systems.
Once graduated, I moved to Seattle, WA where I accepted a full-time position with Boeing in their Electronic Products division. There I developed and improved the electronic boxes that control the various systems of the Boeing 777, 767, 747, and 737 aircraft. I designed and redesigned PCBAs, I analyzed field failures, and I supported Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) for mission-critical systems.
While fun, I realized that this was not my calling.
In 1998, when Boeing announced that it was scaling-back its engineering force, I immediately leapt at the opportunity for change and left the Aerospace industry for a new calling. Developing human/computer interfaces for the consumer.
After developing the first three generations of optical mice at Microsoft, I was ready for a new challenge.
The announcement from Microsoft read:
“Microsoft Reveals World’s First Commercially Available Bluetooth Desktop Solution Commitment to Wireless Technology Is Supported With New Keyboard, Mouse SEATTLE, April 18, 2002 â€” Today at the WindowsÂ® Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2002, Microsoft Corp., the leading innovator in desktop peripherals, will unveil the world’s first commercially available Bluetoothâ„¢ wireless mouse and keyboard solution. Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates will demonstrate the devices during his keynote address, which is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.”
The announcement made headlines!
The gauntlet had been thrown down. We had 5 months to develop, test, and produce these Bluetooth wireless bundles and the Bluetooth HID Specification was not even approved yet. My job, as before, was to ensure that at the end of the day, this new and innovative product exceeded customer expectations.
The team worked tirelessly for five months. Each team member had their responsibility, and we worked together to achieve the greater goal. The opportunity to yet again shape a new customer experience drove each of us. And our development partners stepped up as well. It was intense, and it was fun…
Through this project, I learned a whole new set of impacts on the customer experience:
- wireless vs. wired product user expectations
- usability impacts of RF interference
- usability impacts of latency and delays
I also learned how to quickly and efficiently assess the Quality of the end user experience and how to turn this into metrics that could be tested-for during development.
Most importantly, I learned how to determine exactly what the customer wants when developing and assessing a product, how to assess business and schedule risks, and how to communicate this both to developers and to management.
I had gone from being a “Test Engineer” and had become a “Quality Expert”.
It was at this point that I recognized my mission as an engineer:
To Bring Quality to the Masses!
The challenge was how? How could I improve the quality of every device that I came into contact with? How could I truly have worldwide impact. The answer came to me through my involvement with Bluetooth wireless technology.
As I worked on the second generation of Microsoft’s Bluetooth wireless desktop product line, I realized that the single greatest barrier to Bluetooth wireless technology adoption of was initial connection establishment.
How do you explain to your mother how to connect two wireless devices?
There is no cable to plug-in and she doesn’t understand words like “protocol” or “pairing”. All she knows is that she wants the two things to work together like they say on the package.
Armed with this newfound revelation, I began campaigning internally at Microsoft to be nominated for chairman of the Bluetooth SIG’s HID working group.
In April of 2005, I got my wish and was elected chairman by the active members of the group. Around that time I also attended the Bluetooth SIG’s All Hands Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal and presented my case.
The premise was simple â€” to make initial connection establishment so easy, that anybody could connect to Bluetooth wireless devices.
What started as a simple concept however became the most challenging development in the Bluetooth SIG’s recent history. The new connection establishment process called “Secure Simple Pairing” would take over two years and many, many man-hours of intense effort to develop. To make the user experience simple, yet secure, means that the technology often needs to become more complex.
During my year as the Bluetooth SIG’s HID Working Group chairman, I also helped Microsoft develop its third generation Bluetooth optical tracking technology. This technology was the most challenging to-date as it integrated both an optical tracking sensor and a Bluetooth radio on a single ASIC.
Our development partner had a team in Sweden, and I found myself traveling back and forth between Sweden and my home near Seattle over ten times in two years. As this project neared its completion in 2006, it was time for me to take my next major career move.
I wanted to see the new technology I had championed as the Chairman of the Bluetooth HID Working Group to completion and I wanted to make sure that it delivered on the promise of a truly simple initial connection experience.
I joined the Bluetooth SIG as Product Unit Manager in May of 2006 with a mission â€” to make a positive impact on the Bluetooth wireless user experience.
As a Bluetooth SIG staff member, I would no longer be allowed to contribute directly to the Bluetooth specification, however, I could facilitate its development, foster interoperability between Bluetooth wireless devices through test tools, test strategies, and test plans, help to coordinate testing events, and lead an expert group. I also had the privilege of leading a fantastic team of technical and process experts.
One of my first initiatives while at the Bluetooth SIG was to create the Usability Expert Group (UEG). This group’s initial purpose was to develop usability recommendations for the new Secure Simple Pairing technology. The UEG attracted some of the brightest usability experts, testing experts, call center leaders, and technical minds in the industry. I owe a lot to this team as they taught me so much about what really matters to the end-customer.
Though I could not work directly on the core technology, I did have the privilege to work closely with the technical architects. This was a true privilege as these men and women are the brains behind this complex technology that many of us use every day.
After a year of interoperability testing events, face to face meetings, technical reviews, and often twice-weekly conference calls, the Bluetooth v2.1+EDR specification was finally ready to release to the public. Pairing two Bluetooth wireless devices is now as easy as 1, 2, 3!
But we were already tackling the other issues that were impacting the Bluetooth wireless experience. Namely the perception of “interoperability” issues between Bluetooth wireless devices. Tackling the real and perceived interoperability issues, and their impact on the Bluetooth wireless experience has been a major focus of my effort at the Bluetooth SIG in the past two years.
Since my arrival at the Bluetooth SIG in 2006, as Product Unit Manager of the Specification Management Team, I have enjoyed the privilege of being at the forefront of each of the Bluetooth SIG’s technical initiatives including:
- The development of the Bluetooth v2.1+EDR specification
- The Bluetooth SIG’s Enhanced Interoperability Program (2006-2007)
- All UnPlugFest events from late 2006 through 2008
- Two Automotive IOP events
- The integration of the ultra low power Bluetooth wireless technology (formerly known as Wibree)
While it has been challenging, I have been fortunate to work with a phenomenal team and have grown much through the experience. I have also enjoyed a perspective that I could have never received anywhere else.
All of this has prepared me for the next logical step…
To bring my experience, passion, and unique perspective on Quality to YOU!