TIAX and MIT Host Conference to Explore the Changing Home Environment

Chairman of Consumer Product Safety Commission gives keynote address at event to celebrate launch of nation’s first living research facility.

On Tuesday, September 28th, TIAX and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) House_n Consortium will host a collaborative conference, Changing Homes: Design + Technology for Health & Well-Being at the University Park Hotel at MIT. The event will include a keynote speech from Hal Stratton, Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 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 all-day event is to discuss 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. Prof. William Mitchell, Director of MIT’s Media Lab and Dr. Barry Bloom, Dean of Harvard School of Public Health, will give their insights and perspectives on the changing home environment as it relates to public health and design, while representatives from Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Proctor & Gamble, Motorola and Forrester Research will provide attendees with information about consumer needs, requirements, and desires related to the development of new technologies in the home.

A highlight of the event will be the launch of PlaceLab — an MIT and TIAX Initiative, which is a unique apartment-scale research facility where new technologies and design concepts can be tested and evaluated in the context of everyday living. PlaceLab is a new tool for conducting research on human interaction with technology in the home. The facility’s unique capabilities as a highly instrumented research lab within the natural environment of a home allow researchers to conduct studies that invent, prototype and evaluate new technologies that can improve health and wellbeing and quality of life.

“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.”