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CMD Insight and Research Media Lab

The Center for Media Design (CMD) Insight and Research Media Lab is a unique facility, fully equipped to function as a naturalistic research space for eye tracking and advanced usability testing lab and as a closed-loop, localized EBIF testing environment. These capabilities for consumer-centric, end-to-end research make it unique among universities in the U.S. 

Naturalistic Testing
To facilitate a naturalistic environment for consumer research, we have adapted a house near campus so it still looks and feels like a regular home that just happens to also include its own (emulated) head-end capabilities. This allows us to test interactive TV applications in the real-world setting of an ordinary living room, avoiding the artificial lab environment that may impact consumer behavior during TV watching.

We have two living room spaces in our media lab that allows us to run simultaneous testing sessions.  Each is fully equipped for eye tracking at the 10-foot distance, which we use for testing TV-based interfaces. Our participants can sit comfortably on the couch, relax and enjoy TV content, just as they would at home.

Closed-Loop Development Process
Our media lab is equipped with the same tools used for authoring and deployment in industry, which means that we can walk an iTV application through every step of the development, testing, and research process. We can take an idea from concept generation on the whiteboard through design and authoring, technical testing and consumer testing to understand strengths and weaknesses of the application from a user perspective before it is deployment ready. Similarly, we can work with applications developed elsewhere, as they can be played out over our system for consumer research in our naturalistic home testing lab.