Penn engineers devote new lab to exploring Internet of Things, future of network wiring

Sept. 24, 2014
The Penn xLAB is a newly launched program based out of the University of Pennsylvania's Engineering School.

Image: The Daily Pennsylvanian

As reported by The Daily Pennsylvanian, the University of Pennsylvania's independent student news organization which covers both the college and the Philadelphia metro area, the Penn xLAB is a newly launched program based out of the university's Engineering School, devoted to working out innovative ways to interact with the Internet and related media via new Internet of Things technologies, including network wiring and infrastructure, with the goal of "revolutionizing the way we see technology today."

"Although the group is relatively new, they have hopes their ideas will eventually affect real products, possibly with the help of their current partner Comcast," reports the Pennsylvanian's Emily Offit. "The founders of Penn xLAB -- Sarah Rottenberg , Rahul Mangharam , Orkan Telhan and Carla Diana -- began collaborating in the spring of 2014 and announced the opening of Penn xLAB, which got its initial funding from Comcast, this past summer."

Offit's report continues, "Knowing that he would be able to build an elaborate electrical prototype for his ideas, Mangharam realized that he needed the help of a design team to be able to create products that could lead to real devices in people’s homes. He then reached out to Diana and Rottenberg at the Integrated Product Design program at Penn. 'We are beyond the era of just building gadgets,' Mangharam said. 'We want to see if we can make people more immersed in an experience, even being able to control and manipulate it.'

Offit notes, "The lab itself is currently set up like a living room, with a couch, television and yoga mat -- but the furniture is not the kind you would find in your living room at home. The couch, for example, is wired to give its users an immersive television experience."

There are reportedly a number of graduate students currently working with Penn xLAB. The team members come primarily from mechanical and electrical engineering backgrounds, as well as from the university's IPD [Integrated Product Design] program. The team is planning to display its progress at the public DesignPhiladelphia event on October 14.

Full story:Wiring the future: Penn xLAB explores 'Internet of Things' (

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