Project Funded By the European Union on 2007 as a CSA (Coordination and Support Action), of the 7th Framework Program.
Creation of a European Lab network where potential users may test prototype products and systems before they are introduced to mass market.
The main objective of this project is creation of an infrastructure network around Europe as "Living Laboratories", where potential users may test product and system prototypes before they are introduced to market. On the Living Labs, we try to simulate the home environment as much realistic as possible in order to study interaction between product and user in the environment where they will be finally used.
The results of the studies made on the living labs, will make possible better products that adapt perfectly to the user needs.
The objective of this design study is to address all key issues related to the feasibility of a new research infrastructure with a clear European dimension, named LIVING LAB, that will:
- Advance the field of user centred research (i.e. by studying the interaction of people with innovations for the home),
- Test, evaluate and improve innovations for the home,
- Foster societal needs such as sustainability and quality of life,
- Stimulate competitiveness of European industry (that brings these innovations to the market).
LIVING LAB will bring together Europe’s top research institutes and companies to study the interaction of people with technology in the home environment, and to stimulate cooperative projects in the fields of user centred research and product development.
A LIVING LAB-core infrastructure will look like an ordinary house, but (invisible to its inhabitants, who are all volunteers) it will have sensors, cameras and microphones that record every aspect of home life. The behaviour and interactions of the volunteers can be monitored at any point in the day throughout the duration of their stay.
One key advantage of the LIVING LAB over other simulation setups is that products can be evaluated in a real-life environment, over a prolonged period of time. This way, researchers and product developers can achieve a deeper understanding and uncover valuable insights about how people interact with products, leading to the development of better products, with real benefits for consumers and a better chance of succeeding in the market. In particular, the LIVING LAB will focus on sustainable and quality-of-life-enhancing innovations.
As the LIVING LAB research infrastructure will be made up of several LIVING LAB-centres and affiliated research institutes and corporate labs, networked across Europe, parallel research in several facilities can be done, as well as studies into the cultural diversity of European consumers.
For visiting the official web page of the project click here.