29 February 2012

Connected homes for connected people

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The French think tank Fing (who was also behind the LIFT France event last year) collaborated last year with VIA, Promotelec, Renault Group, La Poste, Minatec Laboratory (CEA), CNR Santé, ESIR Engineering school on a research project called “Connected homes for connected people” (Habitants Connectés) and have now posted key materials of the project including the presentation (in French) and five (English subtitled) video scenarios.

“How do digital technologies change ways of living and the housing ? Do they cause new problems ? Which new opportunities ? How can the resident be autonomous at home, and create new services, himself ? Here are some questions the “Connected homes for connected people” program has worked on…

More deeply than home automation, digital technologies have invaded homes through mobile phones, personal computers, boxes, TV, game consoles, etc. ”Smart home”, imagined more than 20 years ago, proves to be primarily a communicational and relational home, continuously crossed by various flows. Residents try to manage, control or even shut down these flows. Digital technologies have sustainably transformed our ways of living and housing. Objects, furniture and devices in the house, have gained through digital, new affordances. As a result, new perspectives of uses and living come for the inhabitants. Operators and providers can deliver new services. But there are also new annoyances, discomforts, problems for which improvements and solutions have to be found.

The subject of “Connected homes for connected people” has been explored, through 4 themes, 4 “innovation territories “. 17 “innovation paths” have been developed, suggesting new infrastructures, services, objects and forms of mediation ; 5 videos have been produced to develop them.”

In January, 2012, Fing organized a workshop at Google Zürich, also untitled “Connected Home for Connected People”. This one-day workshop, gathered about twenty people, including Fabio Carnevale Maffé of Experientia.

It enabled them to work on 4 “innovation paths” selected from the 17 paths of “Digital Residents” program. Participants developed three ideas of project : “Tack-tiles”, “Bread Assistant” and “Social scales”.

An English language presentation of the workshop is now also available.

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