ETC@USC’s Anytime/Anywhere Content Lab


Now this is something I find interesting. The Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (with big entertainment industry sponsors such as Disney, LucasFilms, NBCUniversal, Fox, Sony, Paramount) are building an ‘Anytime/Anywhere Content Lab’ (AACL). The overview:

The AACL will showcase a wide spectrum of leading edge products, services and technologies in action. It will use these tools to examine the technological and sociological implications of providing content to consumers who desire it at anytime, on any device, anywhere they happen to be. The Lab’s activities will advance the interests of all industry stakeholders, especially content producers and distributors, network providers, electronics manufacturers, hardware and software companies, service providers and consumers.

The lab research questions:

1. Understanding the Consumer – What are consumer expectations for the integrated digital home and for content on the go? What new attributes and features will consumers find valuable? How can we begin to illustrate tomorrow’s consumer demands and usage patterns, today

2. Digital Delivery – How will consumer demand shape the delivery of digital content, whether by pipe (terrestrial TV, cable, satellite, broadband) or by physical media (DVD, solidstate memory, portable devices)?

3. Managing Content – How will content be moved from device to device and from server to device? How can access to content be made seamless, yet still support commercial transactions and a range of consumer usage options?

4. Identifying Synergies – What are the potential areas for cross-industry collaboration to create new product offerings and to provide greater choice and enjoyment to consumers?

Boy, I would love to get in there are trial specially-designed stories and games for such a media-integrated environment. Indeed, my intention at the beginning of my PhD research was to do user-testing of cross-media stories I had created…but I just ran out of time. It is great to see this sort of thing happening though: a lab for the next generation of technologists and creators.

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