Time Warner Sends Out RFP on Use of State-of-the-Art Living Room

12:00 PM PST 07/24/2012 by Eriq Gardner

The MediaLab opened in January. Now, the company is soliciting ideas for what to do with the sophisticated biometric monitoring devices.

Just where do eyeballs roam in the midst of the latest, greatest, undoubtedly distracting media gadgets?

Time Warner wants to know and has invited academics to present proposals about what to do with the "in-home style living room" it has constructed at its MediaLab, located within Time Warner Center on New York's Columbus Circle.

This week, Time Warner is showing off its MediaLab, which opened in January, at the "TW College Professors Thought Leadership Seminar."

The MediaLab has a range of biometric monitoring devices and eye-tracking testing equipment that measure a participant's physiological responses to content.

It may sound like that scene from Clockwork Orange, but the entertainment conglomerate isn't exactly sure the best way to make use of its 55'' HD/3D television, gaming consoles, streaming media players, tablets and a smart refrigerator.

So Time Warner has has put out a RFP to academics to describe in 300 words or less what hypothesis they wish to test.

The MediaLab has already been used for a study on how consumers interact with different media on their path to purchasing food as well as how recommendations in social media influence how people engage content. (Summary: Facebook "likes" = greater attention.)

Now, Time Warner, which spent an undisclosed sum on an observation room which can spy via eight ceiling-mounted cameras on participants in a faux living room, wishes to figure out the next great research project that will offer insight into the ways people are using and are effected by media.

Researchers in the RFP process have more than three months to come up with a good idea.

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