Eyes on the goal! exploring interactive artistic real-time energy interfaces for target-specific actions in the built environment

Funding Sponsor

Concordia University

Author's Department

Architecture Department

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Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Sustainability (Switzerland)

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Current research is focused on sensing and modeling occupant behavior to predict it and automate building controls. Another line of research recommends influencing the behavior of occupants through feedback mechanisms and engagement. Yet, most of the work has focused on pushing occupants to reduce energy consumption over a long time and does not explore the potential to guide users to take specific actions promptly. The study examines a new interface mechanism that aims to solicit immediate and predefined actions from occupants. Building on seminal research in the field, the study uses art visualization to reinterpret social feedback. We test this approach in an immersive interaction space where participants react to artistic visuals to attain predefined settings for three indoor devices. In the 197 interactions recorded, participants’ overall actions conformed with the predefined goals. The participants were able to reach all or some of the targets in more than 80%, within an average of less than 30 seconds. We also see that complementing the visuals with textual hints improved the interaction in terms of engagement and accuracy. We conclude that ambient, abstract, and artistic real-time goal-driven feedback is effective in influencing immediate actions. We recommend that guiding occupants didactically has a strong potential for advancing building controls.

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