Cyber-physical-social systems (CPSS) are typically considered as an evolution of cyber-physical systems to include human interactions; further, that interactions among humans through CPSS can lead to emergence of social or community structures and behaviors. Cyber-physical-human systems (CPHS) can be considered as subsets of CPSS that are smart products that offer services to its customer, supported by back-end systems (e.g., information, finance) and other infrastructure. In this paper, initial concepts and research issues are presented regarding the design of CPHS families and generations of these families. Significant research gaps are identified that should drive future research directions. Potential impacts of filling those gaps provide motivation for the development of a design methodology for CPHS. The approach proposed here is a novel combination of generative and configuration design methods with product family design methodology. With this approach, a wide variety of CPHS, including customized CPHS, can be developed quickly by sharing technologies and modules across CPHS family members. Further, the foundation is provided for the evolution of CPHS families; for example, deciding when to add a new family member, when to design a new CPHS family platform, or when the current CPHS family can no longer be supported and a new family developed. The domain of assistive technology is used in this paper to provide an example field of practice that could benefit from a systematic design methodology and opportunities to leverage technology solutions.

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