Meet the Impact Fridge, Dishwasher and Clock from Artefact and Carbon
The Carbon Design Group has collaborated with Artefact Group in what I called “cool design meets home energy management”. Both companies came together to create the Impact series of connected home appliances. The series consists of the Impact Clock, Impact Refrigerator and Impact Dish Washer. Project Impact has won a silver International Design Excellence Awards (IDEAs) for 2010 for Artefact.
The trio is the answer to Carbon’s question “How can we make smart grid technology appealing to consumers and how can we maximize the efficiency of the smart grid?” In the Impact series both companies tried to: create awareness, provide information, motivate and let user just be, said Carbon.
The Impact Fridge is design to inform us about the energy that is used when the fridge is open. It has a green light bar that appears above the fridge door. When the door is open the light bar start decreasing in length “like sand through an over glass”. Carbon said this is a representation of the cold air coming out of the fridge while you keep the door open. When you close the door you can see the light bar slowly grow again, as the inside temperature is restoring.
The Impact Dishwasher like the impact fridge has a green light bar it represent the resources required at the different settings on the Dishwasher; the length indicates the efficiency of selected programs and time spans. You tell the Dishwasher by when the dishes must be clean and the machine will automatically pick an off-peak time, with the lowest electricity price. If the dishwasher is given enough time, its door will automatically pop open to air dry the dishes instead of using the inefficient heated dry function.
After seen the Impact Clock you will never see a clock the same way again. The hour hand of the Impact Clock scratches out your energy usage like a Seismograph as it goes around. The inner ring shows usage from midnight until noon and the outer ring displays your usage from noon until midnight. You are able to see your current consumption in context to your past usage at this time.
Artefact have also release the Impact iPhone App, for more in-depth information and enables you to set and track toward a budget, providing notifications when you are off target. According to Carbon “The Impact App delivers in-depth information about consumption that would be overwhelming within the context of day-to-day interactions on the appliances. It emphasizes goals and tailored social suggestions, rewards improvement and highlights areas for refinement.”