18 October 2006

EU project to make the smart home more user-friendly

Be the first to share

“Smart homes have been talked about for decades, but beyond a few concept houses and a few gadget-happy homeowners, little has been achieved in making them a bricks-and-mortar reality,” reports the EU’s IST Results website. “The TEAHA project team plans to enable all of us to call our house and tell it to start the laundry, fill the bath or crank up the heating.”

“Until now the business model has not been clear, there have been too many different standards, and too many technologies that are not interoperable. And, most importantly, people did not see these systems as being user friendly – they were generally viewed as too complex to use and maintain for the benefits they offered,” explains project coordinator Enrique Menduiña of Telefónica I+D in Spain.

“Numerous obstacles have hindered wider uptake of smart home systems. In part, this is a result of the multitude of different business actors involved when trying to interconnect home appliances with each other and to the wider world. To date, appliance manufacturers, telecommunications firms, utility companies, software designers and system installers have often taken very different paths toward deploying new technologies in the home.”

“The IST-funded project TEAHA brought companies from all those sectors together. The outcome, according to Menduiña, will be the first open smart-home platform to allow any home-device – using any technology and made by any manufacturer – to interoperate seamlessly with the Teaha system.”

Despite the nice talk about user-friendliness, the solution to achieve this ‘seamless interoperability’ seems entirely technology based, and no mention is made of any type of research exploring what users actually want and need. John Thackara formulated a critique last year about the tech first approach in EU research and innovation. This tech driven EU research project claiming to make our lives easier seems to be confirming that analysis.

Read full story

Be the first to share
27 September 2015
Privacy is UX
UX strategist and researcher Alex Schmidt argues that in a world full of security breaches, snooping, and third-party data aggregators, you should know where your users’ data goes. In this article, she explains why it’s …
24 September 2015
[Free eBook] Understanding the Connected Home
Understanding the Connected Home: Thoughts on living in tomorrow's connected home By Peter Bihr and Michelle Thorne Berlin, September 2015 Available on GitBook We know that connectivity increasingly makes its way into our living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms. Into …
5 September 2015
Gallup: quantitative customer experience metrics aren’t enough
Over the past decade, Gallup has observed a growing arms race among brands to implement bigger and better customer experience platforms. These systems -- also called customer experience platforms, customer experience management or CEX management …
5 September 2015
Prototypes capturing new user experiences for bicycles
Back in May 2015, the Urban Futures team of the Future Cities Catapult (based in London, UK) completed a design research project around cycling. This short project uses film to sketch out some possibilities of …
2 September 2015
What do people really do at airports?
A few days ago researcher Ben Kraal gave a talk at UX Australia 2015 describing four years of research done by him and his colleagues on what people do in airports and what airport …
2 September 2015
Anthropologists addressing burning issues on a hot planet
Our planet is becoming increasingly hot. We are facing climate change, social turmoil on local and global scales, and changing political and economic systems. The symposium "Why the World Needs Anthropologists" (27 September, Ljubljana, Slovenia) …
15 August 2015
What is the ‘sharing economy’? A perspective from Seoul
As a Fulbright grantee, Emily Hong spent part of the last year researching the sharing economy in Seoul. One of her main findings? Korea actually has two. The first is small-scale, hyper local and socialist in …
14 August 2015
Jon Kolko: Design thinking comes of age
How should companies think about design centricity? For Jon Kolko, vice president of design at Blackboard, an education software company, design thinking can define the way an organization functions at the most basic levels—how it …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

29 September 2015
[Experientia book] Ethnography on elderly health and wellness

As we age, we increasingly depend on public services and the community for support. Well-designed public services can greatly affect the lives of the elderly and their experiences of healthcare. Experientia collaborated with DesignSingapore Council on understanding how the elderly interact with public services and how we can look towards improving their lives with design. […]

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

See all articles