OffN is a modular system to help you program electrical sockets in your home.

Openness, customisability, connectedness, open source software and hardware were some of the keywords in the brief that was given to us. We were to look at “sensing artifacts at home”. In particular to design an answer to the question “How can we take control of the diverse collection of devices and systems that populate our homes?”

This led us to explore the devices that populate our homes. We defined those, as anything that needs some form of electricity, e.g. the refrigerator, lighting or home entertainment. These objects are usually controlled by a simple toggle, either on or off. How do we generate a set of conditions to turn an object on or off?

We looked at natural habits or things that we would like automated. For instance, if the sun rises then turn on the coffee machine — and 5 minutes later, turn on the radio. Events that happen everyday or a ‘natural’ occurrence such as sitting down or the sun rising is the best possible trigger to control objects. As opposed to switches on the wall or a touch screen. Another example would be ‘if I sat at my desk and its dark in the room then turn on the lights’.

The video shows an example of an everyday scenario of people in their homes.