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Studying Television Technologies in Real Life

We move on now to David Wilfinger as the next presenter at EuroITV 2009. His focus is on developing better ways to study the use of interactive television systems in situ, in real life. Even supposedly lifelike labs in research facilities cannot replicate these situations. The system being evaluated in this context was a new remote control system for ITV, which included a fingerprint reader that enabled personalisation of programme choices (as well as the blocking of channels or programmes for younger users).

Initial results for useability were good, and replicated results from the lab situation. However, more important insight was gained from the contextual situation of this research: available security levels were found to match household structures, for example, while personal profiles were seen to have to be more flexible (for example, what happens when friends visit whose fingerprints are not known to the remote?). Additionally, potential new forms of personalisation were identified (personalised channel orders, for example).

Overall, then, this research approach was a success, and more such work needs to be done, as specific home settings continue to differ substantially from the lab situation.

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