Nicolas Villar

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Home heating is a major factor in worldwide energy use. Our system, PreHeat, aims to more efficiently heat homes by using occupancy sensing and occupancy prediction to automatically control home heating. We deployed PreHeat in five homes, three in the US and two in the UK. In UK homes, we controlled heating on a per-room basis to enable further energy(More)
The Drift Table is an electronic coffee table that displays slowly moving aerial photography controlled by the distribution of weight on its surface. It was designed to investigate our ideas about how technologies for the home could support ludic activities-that is, activities motivated by curiosity, exploration, and reflection rather than(More)
We introduce a new type of interactive surface technology based on a switchable projection screen which can be made diffuse or clear under electronic control. The screen can be continuously switched between these two states so quickly that the change is imperceptible to the human eye. It is then possible to rear-project what is perceived as a stable image(More)
The History Tablecloth is a flexible substrate screen-printed with electroluminescent material forming a grid of lace-like elements. When objects are left on the table, cells beneath them light to form a halo that grows over a period of hours, highlighting the flow of objects in the home. The Tablecloth explores an approach to design that emphasises(More)
It is important that systems that exhibit proactive behaviour do so in a way that does not surprise or frustrate the user. Consequently, it is desirable for such systems to be both personalised and designed in such a way as to enable the user to scrutinise her user model (part of which should hold the rules describing the behaviour of the system). This(More)
Digital mementos are increasingly problematic, as people acquire large amounts of digital belongings that are hard to access and often forgotten. Based on fieldwork with 10 families, we designed a new type of embodied digital memento, the FM Radio. It allows families to access and play sonic mementos of their previous holidays. We describe our underlying(More)
.NET Gadgeteer is a new platform conceived to make it easier to design and build custom electronic devices and systems for a range of ubiquitous and mobile computing scenarios. It consists of three main elements: solder-less modular electronic hardware; object-oriented managed software libraries accessed using a high-level programming language and(More)
There are a number of mobile shopping aids and recommender systems available, but none can be easily used for a weekly shop at a local supermarket. We present a minimal, mobile and fully functional lambent display that clips onto any shopping trolley handle, intended to nudge people when choosing what to buy. It provides salient information about the food(More)
Personal fabrication machines, such as 3D printers and laser cutters, are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. However, designing objects for fabrication still requires 3D modeling skills, thereby rendering such technologies inaccessible to a wide user-group. In this paper, we introduce MixFab, a mixed-reality environment for personal fabrication that lowers(More)
Existing gaming controllers are limited in their end-user configurability. As a complement to current game control technology, we present the VoodooIO Gaming Kit, a real-time adaptable gaming controller. We introduce the concept of <i>appropriable</i> gaming devices, which allow players to define and actively reconfigure their gaming space, making it(More)