Research has shown that small changes in behaviour in how we use our homes can result in substantial energy and water savings. Home automation and the integration of computational intelligence capabilities in the “smart home” are often cited as promising advances in the design and renovation of efficient buildings. However, the design and implementation of such technologies are largely based on energy use simulations, smart automation of the building systems and components for optimal performance rather than on effectively supporting how people use their homes. Additional factors including system complexity and awkward automation can discourage acceptance of smart home technologies. In this paper we propose that technological support for sustainable home use lies in more subtle and contextually appropriate interventions that integrate more informative models of occupant behaviour, provide hybrid levels of automated control, and use ambient sensing for localized decisions. We discuss several cases from our experience in designing sustainable home systems and describe two current design cases for ambient intelligence in home control.
You can find a PDF of the paper at http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MPRV.2012.58
Keep your eyes peeled as there are a number of other submissions that I am either waiting on review or in the midst of writing. Write on…
On Monday I learnt that my full co-authored (with Maryam H Kashani and Lyn Bartram) paper “The Affect of Lifestyle Factors on Eco-Visualization Design” was accepted at Computer Graphics International (CGI 2012). So I will be travelling to Bournemouth University in the UK. Here is the paper abstract:
As people become more concerned with the need to conserve their power consumption we need to find ways to inform them of how electricity is being consumed within the home. There are a number of devices that have been designed using different forms, sizes, and technologies. We are interested in large ambient displays that can be read at a glance and from a distance as informative art. However, from these objectives come a number of questions that need to be explored and answered. To what degree might lifestyle factors influence the design of eco-visualizations? To answer this we need to ask how people with varying lifestyle factors perceive the utility of such devices and their placement within a home. We explore these questions by creating four ambient display prototypes. We take our prototypes and subject them to a user study to gain insight as to the questions posed above. This paper discusses our prototypes in detail and the results and findings of our user study.
Keywords: eco-visualization, informative art, ambient display, power consumption, energy conservation, sustainability.
CGI 2012 received 178 papers, 111 were rejected, 35 were selected for the CGI 2012 Special Issue of The Visual Computer, 32 were selected for the Electronic Proceedings.
I will be updating the Elements of Consumption (EoC) project page soon. I plan to be releasing the project source code as an open source project along with details on how to create your own custom ambient display.
So in my last post I mentioned Elements of Consumption (EoC). EoC is an ambient display (or eco-feedback device) that visualizes consumption as abstract art. I have published a paper about it (check out the publications page). Also, I just finished uploading 2 videos to YouTube that shows what Elements of Consumption (EoC) looks like. I have also added an initial project page. I am in the process of building an ambient display prototype. Once the prototype is finished I will have some more information and pictures on what it looks like.
At the Smart Graphics 2011 (July 18 to 20) conference I attended in Bremen, Germany I got positive feedback at the art exhibition where EoC was on demo. Based on that feedback I would like to create a non-photorealistic rendering canvas that would use an uploaded photo. One of the biggest highlights of the conference was meeting Frieder Nake. I had a chance to talk to Frieder at the art exhibition about EoC and my research–I appreciated his interest in my research and his words of encouragement.
Soon I will be running a user study to determine if EoC is effective at conveying information…