How can we understand the future of the internet from a user perspective? Which new services can we expect? The EU-funded research project Experimedia uses three venues – in Spain, Austria and Greece – as experimental sites to get to some answers. “We want to understand which kinds of new real-time services the future internet will hold,” says Peter Ljungstrand at RISE Interactive (formerly called Interactive Institute). The project has an open-ended approach, and new project participants will be added as the project evolves.

The Experimedia project complements the larger EU program FIRE – Future Internet Research and Experimentation. But while FIRE focuses on the technical aspects of the future internet, the goal of Experimedia is to take a user-centric perspective and explore opportunities in different contexts. The project asks questions like ‘How can the new technologies be used?’ and ‘How are different services experienced?’ Three disparate sites are used as experimental settings. Schladming in Austria is an alpine ski resort, interested in exploring new ways of creating value for their visitors. The High Performance Center of Catalonia is a sport facility, and provides the-athletes-of-tomorrow with extensive training resources. The Hellenic Cosmos Cultural Centre offers educational productions and multimedia exhibits related to the Greek cultural heritage.

“We are looking at user-generated content as a driver for added value. One example of a service could be to let skiers use smart phones, earphones and different spatial sounds to localize their buddies, or to track down the nearest warm shelter,” says Peter Ljungstrand at RISE Interactive.

Value of real-time services

There is a general trend in society that the value of information is declining as time passes. “What is unique and happens right now carries more value compared to pre-recorded information. That is why we have chosen to focus on real-time services,” says Peter Ljungstrand. But the goal is broader than just creating new killer apps. Instead, it is about a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of different services.

Several experiments

The project started in October 2011 and will run for three years. RISE Interactive acts as a tools developer and also has a cross-border function, making sure the technical side understands softer perspectives such as psychology and sociology. “During the first year, we have built the technological platforms. From now on, we will execute concrete experiments and evaluate the results,” says Peter Ljungstrand. 

RISE Interactive is also responsible for the experiments being executed in a scientific manner, including collecting quantitative and qualitative data. An additional role is to attract new partners interested in performing experiments.

project partners

RISE Interactive (Sweden), IT Innovation Centre, University of Southampton (UK), ICCS (Greece),  Athens University of Technology (Greece), Atos Research (Spain), Joanneum Research (Austria), Infonova (Austria), Foundation of Hellenic World (Greece), Schladming 2030 (Austria), CAR High Performance Sport Center (Spain), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), La Fabrique Du Futur (France).


Photo: Jan Zach

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