From Feedback to Awareness: An Ambient Water Consumption Display


Today, water usage in general is of concern as water is becoming a more and more scarce resource worldwide. The task is to make people more aware of their water consumption. This awareness is necessary to change one´s water consumption behavior and consequently be able to save water in the long term. Problems with existing water meters are, on the one hand, the place they are installed in. In general, they are not easily accessible and thus the meter is seldom read off. On the other hand, reading these meters requires a high cognitive load. Therefore, conventional meters cannot deliver appropriate direct feedback. The suggested solution proposes the usage of ambient displays directly in the spatial context of water consumption. The advantage of ambient displays is that they are aesthetically pleasing objects and deliver feedback in an unobtrusive and subtle way. The application developed addresses the daily morning shower. Since this shower can take from 3 up to 30 minutes, there is great potential of creating awareness and saving water. Through the use of an ambient display, the imaginary water level if the drain was closed can be visualized. This can help to create a perception of how much water is actually consumed.

Poster: Ubicomp 2008, Seoul, South Korea; 09-21-2008 - 09-24-2008; in: “Proceedings of the Poster Session at the Tenth International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing 2008”, (2008)
Karin Kappel
Projektass. Dipl.-Ing. Mag.rer.soc.oec. Dr.techn.
Thomas Grechenig
Thomas Grechenig
Ao.Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.