MEMODO is a new type of experimental control device for smarthomes, that allows users to assign commands to physical objects (totems), and use them to signal their intents to their digital surroundings. The designed tray connects to other devices in our home, recognises totems, and sends the corresponding commands to the relevant devices.
This creates an alternative vision for our use of technology in our everyday lives, making it a more relaxed, personal and humane experience.
MEMODO was featured in FastCompany's design blog and printed magazine, and later became a finalist of the Innovation by Design 2016 competition.
MEMODO was my masters thesis project aimed at experimenting with the digital systems intertwining with our homes, and asking questions about emotional connections, preferable visions of the future and customisable interactions.
The "Internet of Things" is an emerging technological movement that presents the possibility of interconnected devices. This would allow for optimisation and comfort in almost all fields of life. Controlling such devices is one of the challenges that designers will have to face.
Controlling a smarthome is not an easy thing to do, because without standards, the devices may be incompatible and they can create incomprehensible systems. Also, most interaction is delegated to our smartphones, adding even more clutter.
While smartphones and apps are wildly flexible in interface, they simply cannot create meaningful emotional connection. Tapping on glass is not the way a home is supposed to be controlled.
Instead, users can choose a 'totem' object - any object -, that represents a certain 'state' of the home. Placing the totem in the reader activated the associated functions in the home, changing it's behaviour immediately.
Totems can be personal and full of emotional connection. The contents of the tray hold great value to the residents, and also serve as a form of self-expression.
Without screens, the way memodo communicates is by sound and light. The 'language' of screenless devices is an interesting topic for further research.
I wanted to create the exact opposite of a computer. No screens, concrete instead of glass/aluminium/plastic, vibrant colours, "floating" aesthetics. It is an incomplete object. The totems hold the real value, and they are an integral part of the way it looks.
All homes are different, with different needs and residents. A smarthome system has to be flexible enough to serve these differences.
memodo would open up the possibility of special users, like elderly or blind people, kids, and even guests at our home. For them, other methods might be uncomfortable or impossible to use.
Overall, memodo is a system that creates fast access to functions, expands the userbase, adapts to any home or user and creates meaningful, emotional connection that is indispensable in our home.