News
2017-18 Philips Lighting Research

In addition to extending Grand Challenge research from 2016 and 2017 - for Professor Sam Madden and Professor Thomas Malone, Philips Lighting has initiated four new research projects this academic year.

Sensing Lights (Professor Christoph Reinhart)
We propose to develop a library of urban workplace personas that offers new insight into the working habits and lighting control needs of today’s knowledge workers. This insight can be used to design more advanced personal lighting controls including interconnected controls that enhance visibility of electronic surfaces in the work place. Another application is to better characterize resident behavior in urban scale environmental performance analysis to support the design of urban innovation hubs. (As a side note, our lab is also involved in evaluating innovative energy concepts for the new Volpe site that will be developed by MIT near Kendall Square. Personas emerging form this project will be applied during that analysis.)

The Connected Lighting for Caring Cities (Dr. Frederico Casalegno)
This research will explore the role of smart dynamic lighting and illumination in transforming the perception of any space into familiar ‘caring’ space through contextual information exchange via lighting as interface. In addition to lighting’s traditional role of providing color, brightness, and shadow, lighting can also communicate information and influence the way we perceive, feel, and inhabit the space. Throughout our research we will be leveraging our experience in human centered design and design thinking approach to identify new areas of exploration, especially in using urban city as canvas and smart connected lighting infrastructure (at various scales) as mediating interface. Further exploration in applications of big data, pervasive sensing, personal mobile devices, with focus on user experience will provide open up new potentials in the time of Internet of Things.

Smarter Lighting for Urban Environments Informed by Mobile Phone Activity Project (Professor Tommi Jakkola)
The broader goal of this work is to realize predictive control of lighting configurations -- selection of all available lighting options in a given location -- in a context dependent manner. For a given room arrangement, surfaces, controllable light sources, together with other known features such as the organizer, participants, time, and purpose of the meeting, we seek to predict the desirable multi-faceted lighting configuration. We also aim to facilitate quick convergence to a better setting if changes are requested. All the variables entering the decisions, including the room features, may have to be inferred behaviorally from available examples and outcomes. The work will initially address four key underlying technical pieces required to build such a system.

Platform Governance for Connected Devices and Smart Cities (George Westerman)
Previous research has established the central importance of platforms for a host of businesses and industry sectors where network effects enable a market disrupter. Although there is great change and innovation in the “Internet of Things” space, the business models and regulatory environment are less clear. Although the data that the IoT generates will be critical as raw input to improve primary functions and to generate new products and services, the rights to use the data are not clearly laid out or even well understood, especially when data from multiples sources are combined to generate new services.  To add complexity, the rules governing data use differ by country even while the value of the data increases as businesses aggregate it across regions.  In order for users and policy-makers to have confidence that data will be used to generate value and minimize harm, organizations that seek to use the data need to have robust governance mechanisms in place to monitor the use of data, encourage productive behavior, and restrict bad actors. To better understand the issue, the following will be explored: platform business models for home and city IoT, policy and city-level issues, and platform design for home and city IoT.