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Research Labs

Media Experience Lab

In this lab we have the infrastructure to measure the quality of experience during media use through skin guidance, heart rate, face and EEG EMG. For example: we want to use pupil size as a physiological marker in research on media use, human-technology interactions and user experience.

Co-creation Lab

In order to get and remain close to that end user, her/his expectations, (the quality of) her/his experiences, and the diversification of her/his media consumption patterns, MICT relies on a unique and broad diversity of methodological expertise. Main differentiators in that methodological approach are its interdisciplinarity and its user-centric innovation approach. In this lab we organize workshops, brainstorms and co-creation sessions to get insights from the user about a new technology, medium or product. Insights we share with our interdisciplinary partners (engineers, prototypers, developers) to take up in the innovation process.

Interaction Design Lab

The interaction design lab focusses on the design of smart products, with a strong focus on future human-product interactions. The lab takes a research through design approach, acting as a sandbox for creative technology explorations through prototyping. Complementary with the co-creation lab, the lab uses different prototyping techniques to create more tangible product concepts, in order to facilitate the dialogue between different stakeholders during the design process. 

The lab also acts as a hub with a strong link to The Foundry (Ghent’s Design Factory) and the Industrial Design Lab in Campus Kortrijk. 

Research Equipment

What people say, is not always wat people do. In our research we combine subjective declarative user measurements with objective (technical) measurement from eye tracking and EEG research. To do so we use the following equipment: 

  • SMI ETG2 (eye tracker glasses)
  • SMI RED250
  • Biosemi EEG

For our VR/AR research we use:

  • Ocolus Rift
  • HTC Vive

Digimeter

Getting closer to the user requires a broad methodological expertise, but also a constant access to data about the user and his environment. In 2008, prof. dr. Lieven De Marez started this initiative within iMinds-iLab.o. (now imec living labs) Goal was to allow access to representative data on the use of media & ICT in Flanders in a consistent and continuous way. This results in an annual digimeter-report: a state of affairs concerning the adoption and use of media & ICT in Flanders. The digimeter also ensures the mict-researchers a permanent access to a unique dataset and panel for further research.

User Innovation Toolbox

In order to get and remain close to that end user, his expectations, (the quality of) his experiences, and the diversification of his media consumption patterns, mict relies on a unique and broad diversity of methodological expertise. Main differentiators in that methodological approach are its interdisciplinarity and its user-centric innovation approach. One of mict’s missions is to take duty of the most optimal combination of methods and expertise in all phases of innovation development. As existing methods are insufficient to guarantee this user-centric innovation development, mict continuously invests in the exploration and development of new methodological approaches to get closer to digitizing media consumer.

The User Innovation Toolbox is a card set to be consulted when looking for appropriate and inspiring methods or tools when doing user-centric innovation research. It is a collection of over 80 user-centric innovation research methods suited for agile innovation development environments and multidisciplinary R&D teams.

Living Lab Research

As a good understanding of user needs and user experience often asks for a combination of contextual observation and logging. MICT continuously invests in a proper living lab approach in a continuous quest to optimize the iterative process of explore, co-create and validate innovation ideas.

Companies and organizations need an innovative approach to survive in nowadays’ rapidly evolving (new) media and ICT-environment. Therefore various aspects of the innovation process have been taken outside the company or organizations’ boundaries. The Living Lab-approach is a research method based on a new type of innovation management that try to structure and govern innovation processes.

The User Innovation influence is apparent because the user-centric nature is a central characteristic of Living Labs. The (future) end-user is continuously involved in the innovation development process. This involvement incorporates real-life input based on realistic testing of the innovation or of relevant innovation scenarios.

The Open Innovation influence is clearly present as Living Labs also incorporates a wider ecosystem approach to innovation: all relevant stakeholders are incorporated in the innovation process. This requires an open and lean approach from both the research-side and the innovation instigator.

The dynamic mict Living Lab team carries out the user research within imec.livinglab projects. We collaborate with the business modeling researchers from imec-SMIT-VUB and with the panel manager from imec.livinglabs.

Research interests and expertise of this team includes several topics:

  • Smart Cities
  • Lead Users
  • E-Culture
  • Innovation systems
  • Innovation management
  • Quality of experience

The mict Living Labs team has a publication track record in renowned journals such as Telematics & Informatics, Technology Innovation Management Review and Communications & Strategies. They are actively involved in the communities of the International Society of Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM) and of the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL).

Design for Smart Products through Prototyping

Our research has developed insights in how to help organisations with the design of successful smart products. The focus is here on the integration of electronic and IoT technologies into physical products taking into account commercial attraction and producibility. Therefore we focus on the prototyping phase, in order to gain better insights in the human interactions that new technologies provide. We start from low-fi prototyping (e.g. storyboarding, sketching, paper/cardboard, quick and dirty (digital) mockups, Wizard Of Oz, etc) and move to high-fi prototyping (e.g. 3D-printing, Lasercutting, Arduino, RaspberryPi, etc) in different stages of the product development to achieve tangible and usable product concepts for user feedback and co-creation sessions. A prototype will emphasize one set of product characteristics in order to facilitate the design dialogue between stakeholders. Furthermore it also helps to explore innovative ideas and encourages creativity in co-creation.