Smart street lights save energy and increase traffic safety

What if every car, bike and pedestrian had their own sphere of light? Lights could be dimmed when nobody is around (saving energy) – lights could turn red when you are over the speed limit (increasing traffic safety).

Text: Jonas Löwgren

This demo, developed in the ECOS project, illustrates a scalable Internet of Things-style implementation where the lamp posts handle all the sensing and computation in a distributed fashion. The lamp posts are connected in a ring architecture and communicate only with their neighbors; there is no central server.

View demo in the video embedded below, or […] Continue reading

New paper: Making hybrid materials palpable

The design materials of the Internet of Things are hybrid. Physical properties such as texture and weight are combined with digital properties including behaviour and responsivity. This ‘new’ material is a challenge for interaction designers.

In a recently published paper, Jonas Löwgren proposes a design strategy for designers working with hybrid materials: To build prototypes and do material experiments in a way that foregrounds immediate sensate feedback and externalizes responses that are normally not perceivable.

Löwgren writes:

It is quite common in interaction design theory to talk about design as a conversation with the situation […] Continue reading