Recently I tagged along with Y-lab on a tour of IMDA’s PIXEL lab to understand what facilities they had. Frankly, I’ve been wanting to visit their usability lab for ages so when Y-Lab was arranging this (and I was clearing leave in preparation to embark on my PhD) so I decided to go along for the tour…
What is PIXEL? From their website: “PIXEL is an incubation and innovation space for start-ups and corporates to ideate, experiment and build customer-centric digital products.”
They do not hire out their facilities, instead they support independent content creators and interested users can email them with a project proposal to request to use the facilities. Singapore-registered start-ups involved in tech or digital media content development can also apply for a Project Suite (ie: a small office of their own) in PIXEL.
PIXEL has a larger community of startups who use the co-working spaces and facilities in PIXEL labs, which includes lots of themed meeting rooms that can be used by youtubers or content producers.
Some of the areas such as this fully functioning kitchen were made to be reconfigurable, for example the tables could be flipped to the green side ify ou wanted a less “modern” kitchen and a more ‘heritage” kitchen feel to your kitchen backdrop. There was also a fake bar backdrop with bottles and a bar counter.
The meeting rooms are themed but could also be used for content production.
There’s a mini makerspace which has a small lasercutter, some small 3D printers, some light prototyping stations and small drills and saws. Funny enough, but is actually right next to a SOUND PROOF audio recording studio but I think users in the community usually work something out. The sound proofing is apparently also awesome.
They’ve got a simple audio recording studio which has 2 mics.
Green screen studios which come with lights and soundproofing. Just bring your own crew! The soundproofing is truly great, apparently there was another group doing a shoot next to this room and we honestly absolutely couldn’t hear a pin drop (in fact I hope we were not trundling along too noisily)
Ok so this was the room I was looking forward to seeing. Its the Usability Lab! They’ve got the Tobii Pro Nano, the Tobii Pro Glasses, the iMotions software loaded on their laptop, and also…
…Galvanic Skin Response! Which makes me excited. They’ve gone the whole hog on the UX lab equipment! However, you probably need to get one of their consultants to help you because the potential of this equipment only can be unlocked if you have a trained UX researcher to extract the insights for your study.
Alright they also this great corner for VR equipment! All the headsets! And a haptic suit….
Alright I admit I would be more excited had this been a Rokoko mocap suit but I guess this is pretty cool too and very expensive otherwise… too expensive for me to have all the gear to test on…
Here’s the Vive Pro…
Oh and they’ve got studios with various content producers here too…
So how do tech startups and digital content creators get in on using the facilities? I was told they assess it on a case by case basis and all one has to do is to write in with a project proposal. I went to look it up on their website and it says that applicants will be assessed based on the following:
- Company background
- Business model
- Team members
- Feasibility of project
- Project potential
- Potential to contribute to the Tech or Media Community. (e.g. mentorship, proprietary technology)
Honestly I think this is quite generous support for Singaporean tech startups and digital content creators who could be just starting out and wanting to find access to some of the facilities and spaces here. Yes the resources here are quite simple or surface level, but they cover a wide breadth so maybe the value is in being able to experiment with the different professional equipment and facilities. And the co-working spaces are super generous!
With many thanks to Y-lab for organising and IMDA for hosting us and showing us what’s out there!