Home Automation With a Heart?

artefact-1112Design company Artefact has a simple-sounding blurb for its Serenity home automation system. The company’s literature calls it “a home OS with a heart that allows the user to toggle through a range of home controls and automation.” Currently it’s more of a set of renders/drawings than an actual product, despite being a Red Dot and BraunPrize 2012 award winner.

Serenity involves a network of e-ink tablets providing updates on various systems connected to an automation platform in your home. Sensors in the home would provide feedback from connected systems (lighting, audio, HVAC, security, etc.), while the e-ink tablets display all controls and information in an attractive, if not artistic, manner. Graphics include swaying plants (with leaves falling off) and stylized control visuals — all in the name of creating an emotional connection between the user and the home.

Artefact calls it “consumptive awareness.” The company also says “[the system] grows, adapts and changes over time through behavior, awareness, and preference,” making it sound very similar to newer “learning” automation devices, such as the Nest thermostat.

So far Serenity is only a concept, but the ideas behind it sound interesting and full of potential. We’ll keep a closer eye on them and let you know when it’s real.

Here are more details.