We need places to be alone, to
think our own thoughts
This concept has been thoroughly written about by novelists as well as philosophers and psychologists. In future living, private space might be difficult to come by. When we asked people where they get to be alone, one place stood out: the bathroom, and more specifically, the shower.
But can we afford to save the shower as a private space? Actions we take in the private have wider consequences. In the bathroom for instance, we use a lot of water. In the world at large, there are problems with water shortage. In Sweden the problem is more of energy waste, as the heating of the water as well as purification take a lot of resources.
Our solution provides the user with a private space in which to engulf, while unobtrusively helping to keep an eye on water usage in a humoristic and intuitive way.
But how does it really work?
By switching your ordinary shower cabin walls for screens we’re able to present some kind of visualization to the user. By connecting the visualization with the measured water consumption we can provide instant feedback on the environmental impact. While many different visualizations could be imagined, in this prototype we have chosen to use a slowly draining aquarium.
The ambient feedback means the user will continuously but gently informed of the environmental impact.
An emotional connection rather than a rational presentation allow the user to be informed without loosing privacy.
Transforming the shower into a different world lets the user escape their surroundings.
A closer look at the prototype
Having decided on an ambient feedback idea for the shower, several concept ideas were quickly sketched out.
The visualization is made using python and pygame. The water pump and button is controlled using an Arduino and some simple electronics.
The actual shower was generously provided by Ifö. After assembly, one side of the cabin was converted to a back-projection screen.
With a clear picture on the cabin wall, running water and a large button for starting the visualization, the final prototype conveys the intention of the project in a succinct and palpable way.