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PowerViz: The balance of power tips to the ambient and artistic.

The paper “Design of an Appliance Level Eco-Feedback Display for Domestic Electricity Consumption” presents us with “the design, implementation, and field study of PowerViz, an always-on eco-feedback display,intended to increase consumers’ awareness about electricity usage at an appliance level consumption.” PowerViz attempts to balance the pragmatic depiction of energy information with a more artistic intervention, in order to garner

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Power Ballad: Public shaming FTW.

Ever a sucker for projects with clever names, I couldn’t help looking into the short paper  “Power ballads: deploying aversive energy feedback in social media,” which, incidentally, was a follow up to the paper “There’s a monster in my kitchen: using aversive feedback to motivate behaviour change.” Despite the fact that I have my suspicions

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Design experiments for the unconscious.

Sometimes its fun to take a look at conceptual papers, which have prototypes that haven’t yet been made or put into the world for testing. They are often short “thought exercises” in design, where researchers and practitioners play aloud with the relationship between a theoretical concept and actual objects. The short paper “Designing with unconscious

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Robots in your sink, pouring your water, and sharing secrets.

At this point, this paper is almost 10 years old, but in my quest to learn everything on the topic of ecofeedback, one must do some digging. I’m assuming at the time of this paper’s presentation LED lit faucets were not a thing you could just order off the internet – such is the steady march

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PEACOX: Helping you walk (or bike or drive) the sustainble walk.

Peacox is a mobile application that looks to “motivate users to use more environmentally-friendly modes of transport and thus reduce their CO2 emissions.” (source) In order to do this, the design of the user interface makes use of numerous persuasive strategies, including “tunneling” and “suggestion” (i.e. guiding the user towards the greenest choice via the

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The new EnergyWiz kid on the block.

In the paper “Engaging energy saving through motivation ­specific social comparison,” the authors Petromil Petkov, Felix Köbler, Marcus Foth, Richard C. Medland, and Helmut Krcmar explore the effectiveness of three forms of comparison on rates of energy consumption. In order to test theory, they develop the mobile application “EnergyWiz,” which provides users with normative, and one-on-one comparisons, as well as ranking in relation to other users. The application is a

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Upstream: People don’t know what will motivate them, until it does.

The article “UpStream: Motivating Water Conservation with Low-Cost Water Flow Sensing and Persuasive Displays” by Stacey Kuznetsov and Eric Paulos presents the results of research in a number of approaches to water conservation encouragement in both public and private environments. The goal of the project was not only to decrease water consumption at the point of

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I see ghost loads: Ghost Hunter – playing as learning.

In the paper “Ghost hunter: parents and children playing together to learn about energy consumption,” authors Amartya Banerjee and Michael S. Horn present an interactive “hide-and-seek” style game called “Ghost Hunter,” which is targeted to parents and children as a tool to seek out hidden sources of energy consumption in their homes (i.e. ghost/phantom/vampire loads). While this isn’t the

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Real-time archaeology: Visualizing urban waste.

In the paper “Jetsam: Exposing our Everyday Discarded Objects,” authors Eric Paulos and Tom Jenkins propose an “urban probe” as a tool to solicit thought, wonderment, and contemplation. The project aims to solicit a conversation around the use of technology in urban environments and how this might influence our behaviour in cities. The project include an “augmented trashcan”

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Be moved by design – right up the stairs!

In the 2005 paper “Using the Environment as an Interactive Interface to Motivate Positive Behavior Change in a Subway Station,” Anijo Punnen Mathew proposes a series of changes to a subway station, with the aim to use the environment as an incremental persuasion tool towards more pro-social behavior, such as taking the stairs rather than the escalator. While

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