In order to be able to play with your home in the same way you play with Lego, we had to develop a tool that would make simple electronics approachable. This would enable anyone, and we mean anyone, to build simple products with electronics embedded in them, that would fit their home environment. The Homesense kit was developed with this in mind. The Homesense kit includes 2 main elements: a manual and a kit of electronic components.
The manual is full of inspiring examples of projects people have built in their homes with simple cheap electronics. It also includes simple step-by-step instructions to learn about the electronic components. A CD is also attached with all the relevant software and documentation.
The main part of the kit is a box full of electronic building blocks. All of these pieces were built to be compatible with Arduino, an open-source electronics learning platform targeted at designers and artists. The kit includes a main board that connects to a laptop, a “shield” that connects to it and some components, which attach to that shield with the help of wires. Each component enables you to do something unique: sense light, direction, distance, temperature, etc. The main board can be connected to the internet so that your product can either react to something that happens online, or can influence a web page. Some basic components such as buttons, lights and motors are also included.
This kit was handed over to the homes and experts in 6 different homes across Europe. They were given basic training & then were free to build something that would work for them, in their home environment.