Researchers will discuss the fusion of new technologies with home life during an all-day event Tuesday at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s University Park Hotel.

The meeting is hosted by MIT’s House_n Consortium, a research group that is focused on evolving homes with technologies, products and services; and TIAX, a collaborative research and development company.

Hal Stratton, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, will deliver a keynote speech. The event will also include narratives from members of academia and industry, and a panel discussion about evolving technology development for health and well-being.

“As the home continues its evolution from a living space to an epicenter of healthcare, commerce, work, entertainment and communication, there is tremendous opportunity to develop new technologies, products and systems for the home,” said Kenan Sahin, president of TIAX. “By bringing together thought leaders from industry, government and academia, we can effectively assess the needs of the changing home environment and identify the challenges and opportunities associated with creating new innovations that will improve our lives.”

The focus of the event is the changing dynamics of the home environment, the challenge and opportunities associated with developing new technologies and systems for the home, and the movement of healthcare into the home. William Mitchell, director of MIT’s Media Lab, and Dr. Barry Bloom, dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, will share their insights and perspectives on the changing home environment as it relates to public health and design. Representatives from Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Proctor & Gamble, Motorola and Forrester Research will provide information about consumer needs, requirements, and desires related to the development of new technologies in the home.

Attendees will also discuss the launch of PlaceLab, an apartment-scale research facility developed by MIT and TIAX that will allow researchers to test and evaluate new technologies and design concepts in the context of everyday living. PlaceLab is a new tool for conducting research on human interaction with technology in the home. PlaceLab is a highly instrumented research lab within the natural environment of a home.

“PlaceLab creates exciting new possibilities for research projects that are not possible in a university lab,” said Kent Larson, Director of the House_n Consortium. “This collaboration will also help move technologies created in academia to the marketplace where they have an opportunity to impact our quality of life.”


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