MIDE 4D-Space project is focused on the research and development of future retail services in dialog with the customers and retailers. The project aims at surfacing innovations rapidly by involving end user feedback in the development cycle. Rapid software prototype development combines novel interactive techniques and practices in parallel to academic research activities. The research target group covers a range of actors from private sector to individual customers, retailers and the largest domestic real estate developers.


The project develops embedded software and service prototypes by combining both physical location and context information in evolving the scale of next generation site-specific data generation. In designing future retail stores and service prototypes extensive understanding of emerging photogrammetric and other sensing techniques is studied and applied. Additionally the project studies consumer movement in retail spaces. People flow in the retail space can be utilised in establishing an optimal location for the stores, whilst conversely store location can define the exact movement of the people. Studying people flow dynamics is considered essential in designing novel retail applications.

The main objective of research was to create new knowledge, demonstrate new concepts and openings (initiate new research directions), foster research and breakthroughs, and solve challenging research problems related to different spaces and integration of virtual and physical worlds in retailing. Focus research areas, where the majority of the research emphasis was laid were: shopping centre service and retail innovations, novel breakthrough techniques for 3D indoor measuring and modeling, people flow monitoring, energy-efficiency, and wellbeing indoors. The major achievement for the research was to form collaborative ties with departments that previously had not had any kind of collaboration. During the project, Urban Mill was launched as a pilot service. Urban Mill is as well a co-working space, an innovation community as a change orchestration tool. Urban Mill re-defines the way, how people do joint innovation work, and aims to make societal impact in global urban context.

MIDE 4D-Space research project unites five universities from the sectors of business, design and technology. The project combines expertise from seven different fields, organized under five departments. In addition the project collaborates with two high level research organizations. Aalto University: Department of Media Technology, Department of Marketing, Department of Design, Department of Electronics, Department of Energy, Department of Civil Engineering, Department of Photogrammetry & Research Institute of Measuring and Modeling for the Built Environment.