Aurora

A connected home energy monitoring solution 

Goal

Create a smart home monitoring device and app that encourages people to change their behavior.

With environmental issues such as global warming and energy shortages, Aurora is an energy monitoring solution intended to incentivize people to be eco-friendly while saving money on their electricity bill.

Key Skills

UX Design, Product Design, Prototyping, and Design Research

Team

Solo

Course Advisor

Chris Risdon (Prototyping)

Project Length

4 weeks

Tools

Sketch, Premiere Pro, Laser Cutter, Illustrator, Principle, Keynote

Research

Users wanted a device that can provide them control, save them money, and learn their usage behaviors to reduce consumption.

The process began by conducting 4 interviews with home owners and apartment renters in their 20s-30s who already use existing energy monitoring devices. I asked them about their energy bills and usage habits.

Combined with secondary research of existing products on the market, I learned that users wanted:

  • To be enabled to make timely decisions with their electricity usage

  • To have freedom and control over their devices

  • To have a smart device that reduces the amount of choices they must make

Concept Ideation

I wanted a device that could be used regardless of what room it was in and could be a master switch for all devices.

Different forms of the device were sketched out. Ultimately, I decided to combine some ideas to create a remote-like device that can be mounted on the wall or removed for mobility purposes. 

Prototype Build

The device had a professional finish and a touchable UI.

By laser cutting cast acrylic and piecing it two iPhones, I created a digital prototype that could be controlled by touch motions.

I was able to create a "Wizard of Oz" effect by using two Bluetooth remote controllers, have the device sense motion, and automatically turn on/off. 

Device UI States

The UI contains a flower, which is being used to incentive users to lower their energy usage. The flower grows as energy usage is lower and withers as energy usage increases.

Users can change the default view of the flower to the dollar usage view by swiping on the screen left or right. The usage screen will dynamically change depending on the user's energy usage. Additionally, by interacting with the bottom screen and tapping on a light, the user can control the plugged in device by tapping it on and off.  

Final Product Storyboard 

The end-to-end experience of setting up to using the Aurora energy monitoring system.