This tangible interface project involved building video prototypes, conceptual hardware models and software to explore various interactions.

Kill-a-liter main image Prototype demos feedback on water usage and faucet interactions.

Kill-a-Liter is a device to help households reduce water consumption by exposing usage information I designed with Hazel and Niranjan for the Tangible User Interface course. The current prototype is designed akin to a Brita Water filter, attachable to any faucet. As water usage increases, the device begins to slowly restrict water flow from the faucet based on preset thresholds. The user is allowed to obtain full water flow again by performing a simple pumping action.

While designing the device, we experimented with various techniques to change water flow in order to inform users of their usage. Many interactions for increasing the water flow such as 'shouting at the faucet' and 'twisting the device' were explored. The pumping action was choosen as it was easiest for users to relate to increasing flow. It is simple enough to not annoy users and people enjoyed using it. However, there is a need for testing the device in real environments to gauge its effectiveness.

Goals for the project were to explore fun tangible interactions that could help people be more aware of their water usage. We were aiming for a device that could be used in households. Design for water conservation for public spaces would require very different considerations. Our expectation was to take advantage of various social and cognitive variables to motivate behavioral changes in household water usage. Our team looked at various energy conservation projects and taxonomies to help us explore various directions. Other ideas included:

My Role:
Concept Generation, Arduino Programming, Research, Prototype Construction (Plumbing)

Project Team:

Niranjan Krishnamurthi
Hazel Onsrud