01.05.17

NIIC EBM Gaming and User Experience Lab to Serve Entities Seeking Training, Development, and Testing

January 4, 2017, Fort Wayne, Ind. – Immersion, gamification, user centered design (UCD), and user driven development (UDD) are evolving as critical components for successfully solving real-world problems. To support industries who are driving innovation using this technology, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (The NIIC) created an integrated gaming and user experience (UX) lab. “We are unaware of anything like this in the state offering the combination of immersion, enhanced gaming, and user experience under one roof. The EBM Gaming and Experience Lab opens February 7, 2017. It was developed to meet the needs of NIIC clients and to support the customer requirements and user experience demanded by innovative companies throughout the state of Indiana and the Midwest. Some industries we will serve include healthcare, gaming, manufacturing, and education,” said Karl R. LaPan, President and CEO, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center.

The lab is comprised of three main areas designed for optimal immersion, gamification, and UX throughout product development. This includes conceptualization, collaboration/development, and testing/evaluation. The NIIC is working with Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and additional key stakeholders to develop various educational workshops and gamification opportunities to be offered at The EBM Gaming and Experience Lab. “This gaming and user experience lab not only provides a venue for local gaming industry development, testing, and evaluation, but also for emerging technologies. Many companies have a need for applications they create to be tested but have no staff to conduct that testing. Understanding the motivations and business cycles of gamification provides a framework for developers to create engaging, useful, and usable technology across multiple disciplines. Companies use gamification, a process of adding game elements into traditional applications, to make consumer facing software more engaging,” stated Aleshia Hayes, PhD, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

NIIC client Jay Johns, President, 3r Interactive LLC stated, “I’ve had to travel to Indianapolis to get access to the education and training The NIIC will offer through the EBM Gaming and Experience Lab. As I finish a Master’s degree in Human Computer Interaction at IUPUI, it is important and exciting to be a part of engaging and educating on the topic of user experience and design for anyone interested through The NIIC.” The NIIC invites those wishing to learn more about the EBM Gaming and Experience Lab to attend the open house on February 7, 2017, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., at The NIIC, 3201 Stellhorn Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Come learn more about usability, user experience, and gamification for industries. Fully experience UX through equipment at the lab—like HTC Vive™, Microsoft HoloLens and other virtual reality equipment —used to create great products and experiences. This Lab was made possible through the generosity of long-standing NIIC partners – the English-Bonter-Mitchell (EBM) Foundation. For more information about using the lab, contact Michael Fritsch, Director, EBM Gaming and Experience Lab, at The NIIC.

Additionally, the public is invited to the Fort Wayne Global Game Jam, January 20-22, 2017, as part of the international initiative for game development. While most of the event will be held at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, the event will conclude with a tour of the The NIIC EBM Gaming and Experience Lab and post-Jam presentations at The NIIC.

About The Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (The NIIC)
The NIIC is a non-profit, community-based entrepreneurial resource center that assists in the growth and development of innovative companies in Northeast Indiana. Formed in 1999 by a consortium of community and government leaders and organizations in 2013, The NIIC was recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top four under-the-radar incubators in the country. The Innovation Center is the country’s only ISO9001: 2008 registered business incubation and acceleration program, serving entrepreneurs, business owners and existing businesses who want to launch, expand or re-invent a company. For more information visit: www.niic.net.

Photo Cutline: The NIIC EBM Gaming and Experience Lab offers the combination of immersion, enhanced gaming, and user experience under one roof and opens February 7, 2017.

Media Contact: Tammy Allen, Director, Marketing Communications & Programs–The NIIC, tallen@niic.net, telephone 260-407-6442

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