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Interesting projects from the MIT Mobile Experience Lab

Lots of interesting things are going on at the MIT Mobile Experience Lab at the moment. Here are a few projects that I found particularly interesting. You might notice a common thread!

  • Marriott Six Degrees: this is about redesigning the experience of the business traveller in the hotel lobby using LinkedIn information, to show how various Six Degrees users are connected and help them make new connections. The webpage has very insightful videos of an effort that positions Marriott as one of the most innovative thinkers in the hospitality sphere. You may also want to read this article in the Boston Globe or watch the video below.
  • Rethinking the MBTA Ridership Experience.
  • Mobile Applications for Tradeshows.

If you've attended TEDx conferences, you might have noticed how difficult it is to meaningfully connect with other attendees, although everybody is eager to listen to the speakers (of variable quality) and presumably shares tastes in technology, education or design. You might chat with your neighbor during the break, but you never know who else you might have connected with if you had sat somewhere else in the auditorium. TED or TEDx conferences have high ambitions about changing the world, but remain one-directional exchanges of information where (for some TEDx conferences I've attended) the organizers seem more eager to leverage the TEDx name for their own interests than to deliver a first-rate experience for attendees. The conference of the future, whether trade show or TEDx type (or...), absolutely should foster more multi-directional connections, where speakers share information with attendees but attendees also get to connect with each other. Now, you only need to have been once on a mailing list that some users furiously decided they wanted to be removed from (users who, in spite of seeing that replying to all "unsubscribe" only led to mass spamming, kept doing the same thing that annoyed them so much in others), to realize such novel mobile tools might need to focus only on the more sophisticated part of the user base at the moment. Nonetheless, a different set of tools are sorely needed so that people can make more meaningful professional connections when they attend workshops and conferences. I'll follow with interest what happens.

You can read about more projects here. Also check out the Mobile Experience Lab's portfolio book.

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