Horizon building
Stefan Agamanolis, founding research director of MIT Media Lab Europe (which closed in January 2005) has meanwhile embarked on a new initiative, the Distance Lab located in Northern Scotland.

The mission of the lab is to invent and commercialise new products and services that help to wipe out the disadvantages of distance in several key domains, including learning, health, knowledge, relationships and culture.

Distance Lab is a distributed research laboratory developed with the Scottish Highlands & Islands Enterprise that aspires to be at the international forefront of innovation in digital media technologies. Launched in January of this year, it has its first office at Horizon Scotland in Forres, near Inverness.

Commenting on the lab, chief executive Stefan Agamanolis said: “We have seen many examples of how digital media can help us overcome distance in the areas of learning and healthcare as well as in our everyday relationships with distant family members and friends. The job of Distance Lab is to take these technologies to a new level, focusing on design factors to make them much more usable and effective than they are now, and to enable new activities over a distance that weren’t possible before.”

One of the areas Distance Lab will explore is how digital media can be used to create new kinds of tourism experiences that, for example, take place in remote areas or that convey cultural heritage over a physical or temporal distance.

(thanks, Joëlle Bitton for this tip)