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Ubiquitous computing researchers are increasingly turning to sensor-enabled "living laboratories" for the study of people and technologies in settings more natural than a typical laboratory. We describe the design and operation of the PlaceLab, a new live-in laboratory for the study of ubiquitous technologies in home settings. Volunteer research participants individually live in the PlaceLab for days or weeks at a time, treating it as a temporary home. Meanwhile, sensing devices integrated into the fabric of the architecture record a detailed description of their activities. The facility generates sensor and observational datasets that can be used for research in ubiquitous computing and other fields where domestic con-texts impact behavior. We describe some of our experiences constructing and operating the living laboratory, and we detail a recently generated sample dataset, available online to researchers.


Ubiquitous computing, context-aware, living laboratory, home, sensors, research methods.


This work was supported, in part, by National Science Foundation ITR grant #0313065. The PlaceLab is a joint initiative between the MIT House_n Consortium and TIAX, LLC. The authors would like to thank Kenan Sahin, Tyson Lawrence, and other employees of TIAX for their support on PlaceLab development and operation, the anonymous reviewers for thoughtful comments, and the PlaceLab participants for sharing their everyday life activities.