Its aim: to feel the pulse of the Indian consumer and customise its products to their needs. The Consumer Lab is expected to become functional by the end of July, once the final agreement is signed. It will be used primarily by post-graduate students of industrial design, other undergraduate students from various departments of IIT and Samsung India, to study and analyse consumer responses on aspects of product design like aesthetics, ergonomics and user interface among other things.
The lab will have high-tech equipment like eye tracking systems, force sensors, CAD stations for 3D modelling and ergonomic evaluation tools among other things.
The setting up of the usability lab takes the Samsung India-IIT association one step forward. Earlier, in January, the company had collaborated with the Institute to select students doing their Masters in Industrial Design to work on design projects on colour televisions. The projects involve studying user preferences, getting design/usage related feedback and using the feedback to develop new designs.
Says IIT head industrial design unit LK Das, Such collaborative efforts with industry are very heartening. While this is common in the West, it is a trend that is beginning to emerge in India too. Samsung is sponsoring five of our students, Maruti has sponsored two, Timex and Godrej one each. The students benefit as they will get a first hand experience of how the industry works, the constraints of the market and products.
Speaking specifically of the Lab, he said it would enable student projects to go further.The objective is to evaluate concepts with regard to consumer responses. More companies like Videocon and Godrejs furniture division have also approached IIT and expressed a desire to collaborate more actively. Godrej may also set up a usability lab.
According to Samsung India head (R&D) CK Cho, The R&D project being taken up at IIT will serve to provide a fresh and added dimension to our R&D efforts here in India. The students will benefit from this programme since it will provide them with actual industry exposure and an experience of directly interacting with consumers on the one hand and the industry on the other.
The Samsung India R&D Center at Noida has been working on the development of new models for both the Indian market as well as the export market since 2000. One of the most recent introductions of Samsung Indiathe sound oriented Q1 and Q2 series too have been designed and developed by the Center. Available in 20, 21 and 29 inch screen size segments, the Q1 and Q2 series come equipped with features like turbo sound and 5-band graphic equaliser to give better quality of sound.
The Samsung India R&D Centre last year was made the Global R&D hub for Samsung Electronics Visual Display Division. It is now developing software solutions for Samsung Visual Display Divisions global requirements for products like colour televisions, projection TVs, colour monitors, LCD TVs and Plasma display panels.