Thinking-WATT

September 2011 - May 2012

To make individuals more aware of the energy they consume when they are at work


As smart metre become more and more propualr in our home we have become more aweare exactly what we are spending day to day. This has alowed us to make consious descicion around the house to help reduce the amound of energy we consume - saving money on the bills. 

In contrast to this when we leave our home enviroment we lose our resposibilty to cut back on our energy consumtion as we are not made aweare of the impact we create. The many area in which Thinking-WATT focuses on is our place of work due to the amount of time we spend sitting at a desk. 

Companies are now faced with greater responsbilities to monitor and control their environmental footprint. Thinking-Watt is designed to create an awareness of personal energy use in the workplace. Power to the desk relies on the user placing their phone in the device to act as a switch. Their energy usage is monitored throughout the day and alerts the user when they go over a specified limit through the use of flashing lights located on the front of the device.

At the end of the working day when the phone has been removed, the device will automatically cut power to the desk after thrity minutes. This stops equipment being left on when the user is not present. Each day a report is recorded on the company’s network showing the total energy used by each individual. This will allow companies to identify ways to save energy and lower costs.

 

 

As smart metre become more and more propualr in our home we have become more aweare exactly what we are spending day to day. This has alowed us to make consious descicion around the house to help reduce the amound of energy we consume - saving money on the bills. 

Our brief last semester was that we had to reconsider, rethink, redesign and remake a low-cost radio in order to add value to it. The brief was designed to make us think what the word ‘value’ means to us personally.

I decided to look at older people and how they can find it difficult to use and control small objects such as radios. My idea was to make the my radio easy to interact with and my first idea was to make a radio that tilted to switch on and the volume and the scan buttons where on the face of the radio.

 

The next step was to start developing this idea and thinking of more ways to make the control more obvious to the user. Over a couple of weeks I finally decided on a final design after a lot of prototype.

The radio will be controled by a dial on the face that will allow the user to change the volume easily and the button for changing the radio station will be place in the middle of the speaker. I was not sure how i was going to get the radio to work so I had to play about with different methods to find the easiest way that will be able to  fit in side my radio.

The making of the radio was the best part but also the most frustrating. The main body of the radio was made out of engineering foam and carved it using the wood lathe but by accident I made the body smaller than I wanted it to be which I thought was going to cause me problems but in the end am glad I made the mistake cause I prefered it to the size it was ment to be.

After a week of making it i was ready to put the electrics into it and on the first attempt I got the radio working, but it was shout lived cause I came in the next day to find it didn’t work so I had to take the whole radio apart again. In the end i managed to get it all working and finished.

 

 

Going back to the question of ‘value’ I feel that if you I am going to design something that has already been done then I need to find a way to improve it by finding ways to make the product more sustainable and making it out of materials that can be recyclable.  Also the design of the radio must be beneficial to the user but at the same time the product must look aesthetically pleasing. If the product is an improvement or it helps the user the product has a reason to exist.

I think that I managed to add value to my radio by making it more beneficial to older people who suffer from arthritis by making it easier to use with out causing them discomfort and pain. Overall I enjoyed this project and enjoyed being able to develop my skills for later projects.