Sound of a Smart Home

Final Bachelor Project
TU Eindhoven, the Netherlands

Exhibited at:

Sound of a Smart Home is a design exploration to reflect on how we currently use and experience connected products in our home environments. While the Internet of Things, as a global mesh of data gathered, computed, and communicated by smart objects, has brought us convenience, the way of communicating the state of the smart home now heavily leans on quantified information displays. An immediate demand and delivery relationship with smart objects exists, but touches us only in very utilitarian ways. Yet, the question remains: how to create sustainable and harmonized experiences with everyday smart objects?

Sound of a Smart Home is a slow and unaware object that provides a summary of the activity of all connected products within a smart home in the form of a unique 20-second soundscape played every hour. This design collects data that is exchanged between connected things for an hour and then transforms it into a soundscape of ambient sounds that are mapped to specific data streams in the house and subtle changes that happen to them over time. By using sound as a medium instead of visually quantified information, it proposes an alternative, more intuitive way to experience your smart home as a whole and as an evolving ecosystem.

Ultimately, the project explores how slowing down the experience of smart home data through intersections might support reflections on the technology itself and on the everyday practices it is part of. This experience aims at supporting a longer-lasting relationship and engagement with everyday connected objects.

Download Bachelor Thesis

The owner has the freedom to design how to arrange the artifact in their home environment.

Due to its slowness and unawareness, the artifact is open to engage with, or not.

The artifact is made out bleachwood with integrated electronics. Wood give a sense of warmth and endurance, but also resonates with long lasting effects because it inherently expresses time through its natural fibers. The form and material qualities of the prototype should be easy configurable in and around everyday settings, in order to invite for intersections and ensembles over time.

Eva van der Born
Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  +31 6 374 712 44

© Eva van der Born 2020