ICM Final Project Proposal – Well Tap

In Computational Media, ITP

I will be combining my Physical Computing and ICM final projects as there’s a strong opportunity for a data visualization in Processing to compliment the physical interface side of things. The project will be called Well Tap (WIP).

What is it?

Well Tap is going to be a network of sensors that attach to a household’s various water outputs (i.e. kitchen faucet, bathroom faucet, shower ect) that give users a snapshot on their daily and weekly water usage. The physical computing aspect of the project will focus on the a network of sensors reading various water outputs, while the ICM part of the project will be to take this data and present it in a compelling way using either Processing of p5.js.

How did you become interested in it?

Water waste is a seriously problem, but unfortunately, even people that are aware of this continue to use way more water than they should. Because there are not tangible examples of this problem in day-to-day life (unless you live in California and Texas for Americans) people often don’t even think about their behavior with regards to water. By providing people with clear data on their daily and weekly usage, and comparing that data to average numbers for the various household sizes, users will immediately get some context on their water usage. While trying to beat relative benchmarks will be a driver, I think people will be encouraged to beat themselves most importantly. The goal is not to make anyone feel bad or point fingers, but simply to make people more conscious as I believe that people are inherently good. When presented with reminders of the positive impact they could potentially make, I think this device could influence people to make small efforts that make a big difference.

interaction model for context (pcom stuff)

IMG_0245 IMG_0246

system diagram for context (pcom stuff)


Wireframes and more

The interface itself will primarily be an animated data visualization of the user’s water consumption and relevant benchmarks (i.e. national water usage per capita) on the bottom of the screen. There will also be a separate tab with the person’s weekly consumption up against the same benchmarks.

When a user first loads up the interface, they will be prompted to say how many people are in their household. This will allow me to compare the user’s data to benchmarks of similar household sizes.

There’s one very important omission from my project. My system of networked sensors is not tracking some of the household appliances that consume the most amount of water—the toilet, dish washer and washing machine. In order to make the data I’m collecting from a user’s sinks and shower relevant to the benchmarks we’re using, I need to include the amount of water they’re consuming using this appliances. It won’t be feasible to add these appliances to my network of sensors given time constraints but I can have them enter the amount of times they have used each respective appliance in a day, and in turn, calculate the amount of water used. This isn’t indicated by the wireframes below but I will probably add an area above the relevant tiles where the user can say how many times they flushed for instance.




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