IFE Future Lab

The IFE FutureLab was established in 2012, and is designed to explore future operational concepts in complex domains – team organization, control environment layout, Human System Interfaces and other support tools. It is an arena for addressing fundamental issues related to how safety-critical industries can cope with, and take advantage of, the rapid technological development taking place worldwide, where smarter and more capable systems are increasingly being utilized to assist humans in all kinds of tasks. 

The laboratory is made to complement HAMMLAB with a more flexible setup suited for different exploratory research activities. There we do for instance idea workshops, prototyping sessions, demonstrations, user feedback and evaluations. It currently features several large, high-resolution multi-touch screens, portable devices and a touch table. The equipment is easily reconfigurable to prototype a variety of different control environments. The equipment is also capable of full technical integration with the tools and simulators that are operable in HAMMLAB. Examples of topics being investigated here are human-automation collaboration and control of more units from a common location, for example more reactors or more oil platforms.

A dedicated “feasibility” test methodology has been developed specifically to support this kind of exploratory research. This method has evolved alongside the research activities in the Future Lab, and includes requirements for prototypes, use cases and feasibility questions, as well as a “toolbox” of guidelines for performing feasibility studies, such as participant sampling, test execution, data collection and analysis.