A visionary concept on smart homes and power
Much before smart homes as we know them today (Google Home, Apple Homekit and such), I dedicated some time thinking and designing EL.I/O (also called Elio), with homes and electricity consumption at its heart.
Elio is a home system that transforms electricity in a much more user-centric service. It is a combination of product design and user experience that revolutionizes how the electric power is installed in households and how that affects the way we use it.
The electric system in households is something that has not evolved much in the infrastructure until Nest came along (2011), which causes discomfort considering the multitude of energy-powered devices we can find in homes. Plugs and sockets, basically, are very much limiting flexibility in the household settings.
Elio is a touch sensitive electric strip which uses a different way to convey electricity, bringing to the user key features. Elio was designed on 2010.
Through rfID sensor it is possible to recognize which kind of device is plugged and how much voltage it needs to run
Cords are safe to plug and unplug with conductive electricity
Plugged devices can be disabled without the need to physically unplug, by simply turning them off from the touch strip or the app
Elio replaces the obsolete socket system, by implementing a conductive strip. Each of these strips have a low voltage transformer (those that are used for computers, phones, cameras, etc.). Through rfID sensor it is possible to recognize which kind of device is plugged and how much voltage it needs to run. Once the devices are plugged to Elio, there are many more possibilities for the user to interact: specific plugged devices can be shut down without the need to physically unplug, by simply turning them off from the touch strip.
A new universal cord is needed to replace the old one-device-only cords. It is safe to plug and unplug because there is no electricity on the surface, but it is transferred through conductivity. So then the strip and the plugged cords are safe to connect and remove anytime, even with wet hands or by kids.
For those devices that present a built-in cord, a simple one-fits-all adapter is needed. It can fit different kind of standards (european, english, american, etc.) and also usb, increasingly used by phones and cameras. Since the rfID system can recognize the different devices, new specific features can be added, like light dimming for lamps.
Elio implemented in the house can also be remotely managed. The modules can be turned off on site, but also the whole range of plugged electronics can be controlled through a main control panel or through a mobile app. This is of course very convenient to activate/deactivate devices when not physically in the house, increasing control and safety and decreasing energy waste.