The Lab-in-a-Box is a high-end portable audio-video data collection and analysis lab with all the functionality that
The Lab-in-a-Box is a high-end portable audio-video data collection and analysis lab with all the functionality that most investigators would need in even the most demanding field situations. The system is housed in a rugged, aluminum-clad enclosure, on castors, and is readily maneuverable (operational weight is approx. 155 lb. fully outfitted, and approximately 37 in. h x 26 in. w x 20 in. d). It can be shipped via standard long-distance transport and courier services and can be readily adapted for use anywhere in the world. Lab-in-a-Box is designed to minimize the need for the user to interconnect equipment once on-site. It can be handled by one person and set up for operation within 15-20 minutes of arrival on-site. A typical high-end system includes the following components:
Two 8-mm video camcorders, used as system cameras
Two tripods, pan/tilt heads, and camera controls
An S-VGA data scan converter (to convert the computer screen being viewed by a Test Participant into NTSC video for recording); it will convert displays up to 1024 x 768 pixels and has controls for sizing, position, and 2x zoom
A video mixer (special effects generator) to create split screen or other composite views of the testing scenario; this is a 4-input unit with picture-in-a-picture capabilities (i.e., the inserted image can be displayed at any size and at any location on the screen)
A 4 x 2 video switcher for rapidly switching inputs to the video mixer
Microphones and speakers for both the Test Participant(s) and Test Administrator; this creates an intercom with both sides being recorded to tape; there is also the capability for the Test Administrator to do a voice-over commentary to tape without this commentary being fed through to the Test Participant.
A video recorder to record the output of the video mixer and to generate machine-readable time code; this is typically a digital VTR with a pop-up color LCD monitor to display the image being recorded. However, an S-VHS VCR can be substituted if desired. Off-line, video editing, e.g. for the purpose of creating a "highlights tape," can be accomplished using the video recorder and either a user-supplied VCR, the camcorders, or a digital (i.e., computer-based) video editing system. The hardware interface and software for a low-cost, computer-controlled, analog video editing system is available as an optional add-on. Also available as an optional add-on is a turnkey digital video-editing suite
Three compact (3.8-in.) color video monitors (to display the video outputs of the two cameras and the data scan converter)
A universal switching power supply
A user-supplied lap-top computer running MS Windows and ObServant, proprietary data logging software with integrated VCR control and video editing capabilities
An interface for porting machine readable time code from the VTR to the computer running
UserWorks, Inc, 1738 Elton Rd., Suite 138, Silver Spring, MD 20903. Tel: 301-431-0500; Fax: 301-431-4834.