CASE MODEL

TOUCH ENERGY

HEMS OS “interacting with house itself”,
2012/04, with Homebuilder company.

TOUCH Energy focuses on “interaction with the house”,
This application was developed as a part of the R&D project for “Operation System around the house”
As HEMS was rising in 2012, we directed over making concept, scenario, OS building, and UI design.

MISSION

The design lacking communicability and comfortableness is unsustainable.

A “Scenario” for developing a new software.

A dialog with the house –
an experience “interacting with house”.

This product was the one of the outputs of the comprehensive R&D project which aims at visualizing “house” from multidimensional perspectives that starting from the goal to render the relationship between the house and the inhabitants long-standing from a from the side of software.
We added three more standpoints on the future house and designed concept model of OS which “will be suitable for the coming day” based upon each of aspects.

“TOUCH Energy” is a software developed especially in order to reexamine the house from the viewpoint of energy consumption, and to provide “direct interplay with house” (the inherent impossibility) incorporating HEMS (= Home Energy Management System) technically which was gaining attention in the market. In those days, existing interface design of HEMS was tended to be in short of communicability as the result of pursuit of clarity. Reflecting on these trends, our design aimed to address fundamental communicability.

Investigation into the “fundamental communicability”
which would generate the new mode of life style.

MISSION

Interpretation to solution.

Interpretation and design

This project started with unraveling the question : “what kind of factors constitute the house?”
The first thing we did was listing up all components. They varied from construction material to movable assets such as home electronics and furniture, infrastructure energy like electronics, water and gas, and the family including their pets.
House is made up of almost above elements. HEMS is an application that interprets house electrically.
Then we added more functions : to visualize the information about the circulating energy, and to control the “relay points ” comprehensively. Given the expectations of the spread of HEMS, we, also, customized this application with a control panel of home solar panel / EV (Electric Vehicle) charging / sharing the energy within the community.

On the other hand, the design principle of this project employs our department’s method called “Superdirectly” *. As combining these factors, we led the details of the specifications. Following two charts are architectural infographics that we made in the process of designing. Instead of starting with designing the fine details of UI within the given frame, we took into consideration of whole flow so as to create the flexible and unified interfaces.

Super Directory

This method is particularly reflected in gaux™ project, but broadly speaking, it gives an experience in which the user control energy with consequential phenomenon (such as heat, air current, lighting) instinctively instead of quantified meter.

Following two charts are architectural infographics that we made in the process of designing. Instead of starting with designing the fine details of UI within the given frame, we took into consideration of whole flow so as to create the flexible and unified interfaces.

Touch Energy Softwear Architecture

Graphic Structural Drawing

Seeking visual effects with animation

From the earliest stages of developing this OS, animation was one of the essential factors Animated effects are not “subordinate option”; however, play an important role in visual expression. Flat surface with kinetic effects gives much more options of design in the two-dimensional limitations. That means, cross-border appreciation of movie and flatness is required.
Some examples of test animation effects are shown below. When the battery is charged enough, the graph shows vivid colors and animated motion, but when the battery is running out the animated motion becomes modestly. These fine gestures will contribute to evoke attention to suppress power consumption indirectly.

Animation Test

Ceaseless examination

As the above-mentioned, after the reciprocation among multiple realms; constructing a structure, repeated trials of designing, animation effects, each layer were taking on clear outline.
Especially, in this project which has high flexibility and expected to implement many functions into the OS, affirmative trial and error is required.

Flexible ideas

“Under the complex information society, granularity of infographics
and the visual pattern will increase its importance.”

Developing individual functions

After the above process, we created up to 70 patterns of flat surface designs. We devoted a month to produce them. So as to maintain unity among various designs, we limit lead designer to one.

Home screen displaying whole information

This layer plays a role as literally “home”. Working in conjunction with storage and consumption of electricity, the user can view the entire status; solar panel, EV charging, and home electronics. When the display is installed in the house, this page is intended to be shown. The CG changes accordingly to the time; morning, noon, and night. Furthermore, the user can change the image of the house at the back of the display.

Energy survey quantifying the daily consumption

This chart presents daily electronic supply, transmission capacity and energy consumption by some patterns.
With the purpose to keep up the motivation for brownout and selling electricity constantly, kinetic and communicative motion shows effectiveness.

Sensing the PV generation status intuitively

This infographic visualizes power generation status such as photovoltaic generation. It adjusts its color gradation varies in cold to warm hue in proportion to weather, and temperature so as to assist user to comprehend the effectiveness and quantity of power generation.

Energy charge and supply of EV

The electricity generated within the house is shared with EV. Besides visualized power generation status, we envisioned to manage the feature of the car remotely. As an additional capacity, for example, we tacked on controller for automobile air conditioning that can be used from within the house.

Expansion into local energy sharing

In this development project, we did not only design HEMS OS, but also, devised “CEMS(Community Energy Management System)”.
Broadening the measure of target from one family to many, as a small unit, TOUCH Energy got ready for the future possibility of sharing energy.

Further development

When we preside over this kind of development project, we take consideration into the fundamental “durability”. The “ideas” conceived in this project’s process and the “visualization” reflected on this scheme will be fadeless for a long time.
Nevertheless this project is conducted in 2012, this software produced much more result than the accumulation of small design is supposed to do; for example, these products were consecutive showcased at HEMS fair for several years, and excogitation of wearable version.

CREDIT

THIS PAGE IS DIRECTED BY VISUALIZATION Yumi Shimazu (THE EUGENE Studio Visualization Dept.), Takuya Uemura (Life Long Kindergarten)
TEXT & TRANSLATION Yusuke Nishimoto (THE EUGENE Studio Visualization Dept.)
“SURROUNDING THE HOUSE” OS
DEVELOPMENT
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION THE EUGENE Studio Visualization Dept.
VISUAL & ARCHITECTS Yumi Shimazu (THE EUGENE Studio Visualization Dept.), Shota Fujii (Life Long Kindergarten), Yosuke Chiai
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Object of Null,inc.
VENUE Exhibition booth of Daiwa House Industry