Wednesday, August 27, 2014

UPenn's new xLab uses "Internet of Things" to Design Interactive Entertainment

TerraSwarm PI Rahul Mangharam (Penn Engineering) has joined forces with faculty in Penn's School of Design to launch a new Experience Design and Technology Lab—  xLAB for short.  The goal of the collaboration is to use the "Internet of Things" to devise and deliver richer, more interactive entertainment experiences.  A Penn Current online article highlighted the new lab:
"xLAB began through collaborations between students in their respective classes through Penn’s Integrated Product Design and Embedded Systems programs. Students in xLAB brainstorm projects related to the future of entertainment systems, coupling digital content with internet-connected physical devices. They actively interact with design consultants, involve users to narrow down their needs, and then work together to build, refine, and test prototypes of those ideas."
According to Mangharam:
"The fundamental problem we are attacking is that the content delivery infrastructure today (e.g. cable TV) does not know anything about the context of the content. We are enabling new ways of content pacing and sequencing to personalize media consumption and develop the network architecture for context exchange between the content and the physical world with such content-coupled IoT." 
Examples of some of the technology being developed at xLab include an intelligent yoga mat, a vest that enables viewers to actually feel the action in a film, and interactive children’s toys.  xLab's introductory video highlights a few of these new technologies:

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