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Keywords: Interaction Design, Product Design, Product Management, Projects, Strategy

A Light Switch System to Help Children Save Energy.

Increasing the younger generation’s awareness of energy consumption now will help to effect change in the future. Focusing on lighting is a simple way to engage them. Tio enables children to demonstrate their knowledge of energy conservation to their families, while encouraging their role as ‘energy champions’ of the home.

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Image 1: Tio

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    Image 1: Tio

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    Image 2: Stages – Happy, Indifferent, Angry

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    Image 3: Web interface

The concept of an ‘energy saving light switch’ aims to make children more aware of the energy they use in lighting their rooms. Energy is given a personality through a face featured on the light switch. The character will get progressively more angry the longer the lights are on. This display of emotion will encourage the child to turn off their lights when they are not needed, for example during the day, or when they are not in the room. A key feature of the concept is that it is a ‘product system’. The wall mounted light switch communicates with a computer to record the child’s lighting behaviour.

A web application allows the child to track their lighting-use performance over time. Tio relates lighting usage to topics that are meaningful to children; how energy affects trees, animals and the local environment. This not only makes energy consumption more understandable to the child but also shows the effect saving energy can have on their life. This engages children to make a personal contribution to reducing energy consumption.

Tio will be featured in the Museum of Modern Art’s upcoming exhibition ‘Talk to Me‘. Tio was featured in the October issue of Entrepreneur Magazine in the “Strokes of Genius” section. In April 2010 Tio was showcased by Springwise, analysts of global business trends, in a focus on in-home energy monitoring devices. Tio was awarded the HSBC Sustainability Prize in 2009 and has been featured in research papers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and in presentations by global companies such as Vodafone.

Download a case study about Tio here.

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