Designer partners with British Gas to bring tech to the home
20 July 2015
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Designer partners with British Gas to bring tech to the home

Designers have been slower to bring technology to the home compared to other environments and opportunities, but for designer Yves Behar, the move to a connected house is inevitable.

“Every device in the home will be connected to the internet within a decade,” Yves said in an interview with Dezeen in 2014, and he seems to be taking the cause head-on with the release of his new device, the Hive Active Heating 2.

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Part of a partnership with British Gas, the aim for the smart thermostat was to compete with similar products already on the market, but make it consumer-friendly by making it feel familiar and intuitive to use.

"Users of these products are going to be everyone from your grandma to your auntie," said Yves. "So the way this was built is that we didn't want to add another screen in the home. I'm a designer in technology but I don't prescribe putting screens on everything."

Instead, the product features an LED display that is activated by touch, and turns off once the user is finished making adjustments. This simple design decision reverts the thermostat to being a simple dial on a box – a familiar sight for many older users.

The device enables the user to program heating and hot water in the same way a traditional model would, but can also be used remotely via a smartphone or tablet. Clever features include holiday-mode (which can notify homeowners if a window or door is opened in their absence), various scheduling options and multi-zone heating.

Bursts of hot water or heating can be controlled via a “boost” button and there are various comfort or energy-saving modes to fit every situation.

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In an appealing move, the plastic surrounds come in a whole range of colours by Dulux that can be changed depending on home décor or mood.

Yves urges fellow designers to be considered in how they bring technology into the home, saying “it’s not about putting a speaker in a chair, or putting a TV in a bed” but rather “about sensors, about the home knowing where you are”.

For more information, see the full article over at Dezeen. Curious about how technology will feature in this year’s BIA designs? Our BIA winners will be announced on 15August, so stay tuned!

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