Don Willems designed a doormat. The doormat is not just for wiping your feet, but also for lowering the electricity consumption. How does it do it? The doormat is at the same time a LED display that allows people to easily turn off devices when leaving the house as well as improving their energy consumption behavior by leaning from tailored coaching when coming in. Read the full report for more information [PDF, 3M]
From his report, “The Doormate is for wiping your feet and supporting lowering of electricity consumption. It does the latter by communicating information through an integrated LED display. It allows people to easily turn of devices when leaving the house as well as improving their energy consumption behavior by learning from tailored coaching when coming in. One could say the Doormate is addressing both the ‘consumer’ – making sure no money is wasted when not at home and the ‘citizen’ – contributing by environmental friendly behaviour – in people.
The doormat in particular is chosen as it fits into every home environment. People found it very important for the object to blend in. Another benefit is that the user can decide for his or herself whether to pay attention to the device or to keep walking. The user remains in control and chooses how to spend their attention. The location of the doormat is excellent for the intended interaction. When leaving the house the user has quick and easy control over appliances that might be better to adjust or turn off.
As these actions are relatively simple and the time of contact is short, static images are used to communicate. To switch off the depicted device the user steps with one foot on the lit up power icon (top left) and with the other foot applies pressure on the display, as if putting out a cigarette. If more devices are available to be switched off, the arrow(s) will light up and can be used to scroll through the icons.
When entering the house the user can spend a brief moment to learn (or get a cue to remember) how certain behaviour can be changed to be more energy efficient. This is the moment before the user will be going to use the appliances in the home. As the contact time between product and user is longer, animations are used to explain the (sometimes) complex coaching tips. If the user does not understand the animation, he or she can get
more information on his/her Smartphone or laptop by both pressing the lit up coaching icon (top right) as well as the display. In the case of the coaching state the user is able to ‘flip’ through tips if more are advised.”