Ownit

OWNIT is a competitive and interactive game for the family that allows the players to learn about the energy usage of everyday household items

Role: Design Concept |  Interaction Design |  UI Design |  Prototyping

Tools: Sketch | Photoshop | Arduino | Processing 

November 2016 Convergence Innovation Competition submission

 

PRODUCT BACKGROUND

For the fall Convergence Innovation Competition, my team and I spent a week brainstorming and designing a product that fit into the smart cities and aware home theme. After a team member expressed their frustration in a higher than expected electricity bill after reducing their use of air conditioning, we decided to design a fun way to track where electricity in your home is being used. We came up with a whole home game so that the entire family can be engaged in understanding how they use electricity. Our goal was to simulate a board game without the board. 
Basic Rules:
1. Players can purchase household items with their points and indicate ownership through RFID reader flags.
2. To use an item such as the TV, users place RFID tag embedded figures next to the flags to check in while we track their usage
3. Players gain points every time someone uses a household item they've purchased
4. Players lose points when they spend them on household item purchases
5. The player with the most points at the end of the week wins! 
6. A usage report is generated for the family's viewing


HOW WE GOT THERE

research

With only a week to submit a product, our focus was on design conception and prototyping. We conducted a few informal interviews with frequent gamers to understand what draws them in to a game. 

Take Aways

People like the idea of ownership

It is fun when the game throws in twists out of the user's control

Requiring strategy makes players want to play multiple times to see different outcomes

Players like returning to games in which they can play  a specific character 

design

We decided tracking how much electricity each household item draws from the meter was outside of our scope and would make use of existing technologies in future implementations. Our focus was on game play and designing and prototyping the interaction. 
The game consists of an online portion and physical portion. 
Online game portal: Where players can check their points, usage and purchase more household items
Physical Portion: A game character that houses an RFID tag, and flags to mark property
Physical prototype component: Arduino uno that serves as our RFID reader to update the points on our online portal

PROTOTYPE

evaluation

After presenting our concept at the Convergence Innovation Competition, we received the following points of feedback: 

1. While kids might enjoy carrying around a character, adults might prefer to use their phone since its always on them anyway
2. You need a reliable way for the RFID reader flag to recognize which household item it's being placed on to track