Adapting To Changes

Piyumi Pathirana - Mon 23 March 2020, 9:16 pm

Continuing The Course

The last week has been quite a mixture of emotions, confusion and thinking about the future. With COVID-19 making a huge impact to the course, it has definitely brought upon new challenges and directions to take. Regardless, I'm still excited and ready to continue the course with all the changes to come, although am quite nervous about taking on the task with a more individual outlook as I don't feel very strongly in my programming skills.

Group Chats

Upon discovering the changes to the course, we sadly lost a team member within the group. Upon discussion with the remaining team members, we revised our initial idea of the chair as it felt like a more complex idea to create as an individual. The idea that we've come up with explores changing energy consumption habits through implementing factors of discomfort. We felt that through an individual aspect, this might be something that might be less difficult to tackle.

Research Questions

We conducted initial research questioning to collect some ideas that we could explore. The following questions and responses were recorded:

Q1. What energy consumption habits do you want to change?

  • Taking shorter showers
  • Using phone less
  • Using and buying less plastic
  • Reduce power usage at home
  • If it’s too cold/hot for the dogs
  • Outside door is left open
  • Devices/tvs/lights left on
  • Cleaning not done
  • Air conditioner/heater left on

Q2. What response would bother you? (e.g. sound, light, social media shaming)

  • Sounds that keep happening for a really long time
  • Spamming of the same message
  • High cost
  • Stops them from pursuing hobbies
  • Stops them from going out
  • Alerts on phone
  • Creates more mess
  • Loud noise
  • Speaking (e.g. yells ‘Help me!” when someone walks past)
  • Complaining about how cold it is etc.

Q3. What form? (e.g. small box, plant, unappealing v appealing?)

  • Something that is too heavy to move
  • Something stuck in position
  • Wetness
  • Embedded in the bad habit
  • Emotional connection

The Concept

Based on the responses we received, we came up with the concept of a small portable object that playfully annoys and disturbs users when they have committed a negative energy consumption habit, ie. leaving the aircon running when not present. The user will be alerted after a certain time through an annoying sound initially (potentially the ball complaining), however if they do not take any action, then it will continue to annoy them through flashing lights, vibrations and annoying sounds. The goal is that the user becomes annoyed and made to feel uncomfortable which forces them to fix the problem. Hopefully with constant annoyance, this will improve their habits of being more energy efficient at home.

Possible ways to explore and create this that were discussed were varying sensors to measure light, sound, water and movement detection. Sensors is not something that I have had much experience with however, so I'm hoping that it won't be too challenging for me. In saying that though, I'm definitely ready to step out of my comfort zone and explore something new!

We are still confused about the future of the project and our ability to be able to develop such a project with all the big changes, so hopefully after the presentations this week we will have more of an understanding and more confidence in the concept and ourselves!

#adaptingtochange #exploringnewideas