Sound for Energy Projects

Vincenzo Madaghiele: Investigating real-time feedback of energy consumption and emission data through sonic interaction design


Sandra Pauletto, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

Marco Carlo Masoero, PoliTo Politecnico di Torino, Italy

Raphaël Troncy, EURECOM, France

As buildings become increasingly automated and energy efficient, the relative impact of occupants on the overall building carbon footprint is expected to increase. Research shows that by changing occupant behaviour energy savings between 5 and 15 % could be achieved. The definition of occupant behaviour is however highly dependent on the context, and how to successfully develop behaviour change interventions is an open problem. This thesis specifically focuses on the ineffectiveness of Smart Meters based on visual feedback, analysing the reasons behind their faults and exploring alternative feedback methods based on sonic interactions.

This work is an investigation of sonic interaction design methods for energy awareness, based on quantitative data analysis of real-world datasets

of historical disaggregated energy consumption. The thesis is divided in two main sections, first energy consumption and emission data in households from Scotland and Sweden have been analysed with quantitative methods, with the aim of extracting knowledge about users  energy consumption patterns.

After the analysis, the problem has been approached from a Sonic Interaction Design point of view, with the aim of developing an alternative, sound-based design to provide feedback about some of the data usually accessed through Smart Meters. A sonic interaction design prototype has been built, using real-world data to simulate household consumption, emissions and energy sources. The final prototype is an energy-aware sonic carpet which provides real-time feedback on home electricity consumption and emissions through sound. An experiment has been designed to evaluate the prototype from a user experience perspective, and to assess how users understand the chosen sonifications.

Zezhe Huang: A Playful VR Home Environment for the Evaluation of Energy Efficiency through Sonic Interaction Design


Yann Seznec, Sandra Pauletto, Elina Eriksson, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

The aim of this project is to develop a VR home environment that allows experiencing and evaluating sonic interaction design for energy efficiency. The VR home environment is based on the KTH Live-in Lab Testbed to allow us experimenting virtually before deplying sonic interactiond designs in the real environment.  The project is at the beginning. More will be added as it develops further. Below some images of the VR home environment.

Hampus Huledal and Axel Sjöström: Using sonic interaction to present energy usage in the home

Supervisor: Sandra Pauletto, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

This project explores the possibilities of displaying energy data in households using sonification, or the display of data through sound. Specifically, a sonic interaction was designed in order to display the energy split between hydro, solar, wind, geothermal, nuclear and gas of a generic household in Sweden. A physical interface developed by Tove Grimstad Bang called Suspended Circles (see is used to provide a basis for the sonic interaction.

Each energy source is connected to a different sonic output and depending on the energy split, the sound moves up or down the suspended circles reflecting a higher or lower use of that energy source at a particular moment in time.

Course projects investigating how to create auditory feedback for appliances and heat exchangers for the house

Supervisors: Sandra Pauletto, Rod Selfridge, Yann Senzec, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Amel Björkbom, Ellen Tholsby, Kimberly Nguyen: Sonifying the Fridge for Sustainability

Solbritt Gateman, Jiangyue Han, Amanda Lindqvist, Haris Vidimlic: Sonification of a radiator for sustainable energy consumption

Two more course projects:

Jackie Hellsten, Saga Oldenburg, Sofia Bergqvist: Sonification of the kitchen tap

A. Kajol Rafi, Linnea Hagman, Yutong Deng, Simon Hallak: Hearing air pollution in a vehicle?

More related course projects:

Axel Goris and Andrea Maderthaner: Playable Toaster - Designing a toaster game to increase energy consumption awareness in the household

Celine Mileikowsky and Dimitrios Ellinas: The Move It Move It Microwave - A Multiplayer Microwave for Playful Interactions

Carlo Barone: Hack of an Office Gadget for Sonification of Air Pollution