THE PROBLEM

As 'Day Zero' of Cape Town, South Africa showed the world in 2018, drought and limited water supply to urban areas can quickly turn into a national crisis. 

With climate change set to bring forth unprecedented weather events and water scarcity in the coming decades, 

How might we help people to reduce water consumption in their homes? 

Blip

Designing a smart home system to help save water

AWARDS

Fast Company World Changing Ideas 2019: Honorable Mention (Student) 

ASU Design Excellence Award 2018

TIMELINE

Aug - Dec 2018 

COLLABORATORS

Piyum Fernando 

Social and Digital Systems Group, ASU

SCOPE

Masters studio exploration into conceptualizing a novel product that solves a future problem using emerging technology.

OUR SOLUTION

Help people quantify home running water usage in real- time 

A. DESIGN OF THE BLIP SYSTEM

Blip City: A backend powered by big data

Blip Home: A learning flow meter, real- time feedback displays and mobile app

Blip Community: A community that recognizes and rewards high savers

Helps people monitor their usage patterns, learn better water habits and reduce consumption at home.

B. DESIGN OF BLIP HOME DISPLAYS

KEY FEATURES

Displays real- time water usage data 

As the faucet is turned on and water starts flowing, the Blip displays lights up. The numerical dial shows how much is being consumed right now, and the colour dial shows where you stand in your daily water limit. 

Easily adjustable viewing angle

The display can be fixed onto most faucets and shower heads. The display face can then be rotated to get the optimum viewing angle. 

Two mounting options

The display can be fixed onto a faucet or shower head using the clasp ring or onto a screw on the wall. 

PROCESS

2

Secondary Research 

To understand what happened in Cape Town better, I talked to a research group at University of Cape Town, who published their study of using Behavioural Nudges for Water Conservation.

Key results are below.

CT_findings.png

Telephone Interviews

20 minute over phone interviews were conducted with 5 people living in California and Utah in areas prone to frequent drought warnings. 

phone interviews2.png

Online Survey

A survey with 14 self- fill questions was distributed among known contacts and their contacts living in the US. 80 people responded and key themes that emerged were synthesized. 

Survey Results

Defining the problem space

Insights from secondary research, telephone interviews and the online survey were synthesized. We narrowed down our target user group to people who already WANT to reduce their water usage, but did not know how much they consumed. 

problem space2.png

Creative exploration

Through sketching, drawing system diagrams, clay & foam modeling, mockups, working prototypes, 3D printed mockups and CAD modeling the concept for smart water saving system for the home + the industrial design for the Blip Home displays were explored.