Need to weigh yourself? ‘Empathic technology’ may soon let you do it on a rug

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Works on modern smart home accessories. You install an air purifier to clean air or you wear a Fitbit to track your heart rate and other vital stats. Imagine if it wasn’t necessary. Imagine for a moment that your rug can tell you your weight, your BMI, and more. Imagine that your window automatically filters the air and also blocks out noise, resulting in a quieter home.

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That’s the approach behind New Territory, a design studio that strives to make a home really smart by incorporating these accessories into much of the home’s design, rather than just accessories. It does this through a concept known as empathic technology, which focuses on three main ideas.

The Connect concept uses a central Connective router tray with features such as an omnidirectional speaker and Wi-Fi booster to provide better connections throughout the home and streamline communication between occupants.

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The Sense concept uses monitoring devices such as a smart switch, a pendant, and a surface – such as a rug – to track residents through tactile, sound, and visual references. The Enhance concept reacts to the collected data. One example is the Smart Window Frame, which enables active noise cancellation when sound levels get too high outside the home.

The person standing at the top of the Nutritory Smart Rug concept for a smart home.

While a lot of these are buzzwords, the products themselves are integrated into the home in clever ways. The “surface” technique looks like a rug that covers the floor in front of a bathroom or kitchen sink. These various products and devices are capable of providing a high level of functionality while simultaneously avoiding the look of “smart” devices. The window frame resembles a standard, wood-paneled frame. It fits right into the aesthetic of a modern home and hides its functionality.

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All the information collected through Nutritory’s technology is presented in a clean UI that shows where each family member is at any given time. It also allows you to view information collected about you, such as your heart rate, posture, body temperature, and more.

This level of smart home technology is a good example of how convergence is the key to a smart home. By making smart technology a literal part of the home, it becomes more streamlined and easier to use, rather than having to be added later.




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