In Brief

The Japanese company debuted sensor-based technology for the connected home, showcasing their vision and creative potential for transforming the domestic setting

According to multinational electronics company Sony, hidden sensors may be the future of connected homes. The company revealed the fruit of its four-year research project on the future of interaction design in its Hidden Senses exhibit at Milan design week, where it claimed that sensing devices will soon be able to transform regular home items into “points of technological interaction.”

The technology would surpass the regular gesture controls we see today, providing a more enriched lifestyle by allowing an object to easily double as anything from a music system to a light switch. These sensors will also have the ability to follow users around the home, providing light, music, photos and more wherever needed. A candleholder, for example, embedded with a sensor could function as a control for lighting when a user’s touch activates it, forming a type of intuitive integration with people’s lifestyle.

“If it’s just a gesture it’s not interesting,” said Hirotaka Tako, chief art director for Sony’s Studio 1. He continued, “It’s about combinations of behavior. If we can assign any object as a trigger for changing the mood or the lighting or to control the music, it doesn’t have to be controlled by a gesture. It’s about a new type of interface.”

The sensors would allow homeowners to choose which objects to transform into controls and connected devices, permitting them the freedom to design their own experience. Sony states that while these applications as demonstrated in Milan are viable, they are not currently available for mainstream production, and rather serve to showcase the company’s vision and capabilities as well as what the future of connected homes could be.

Sony

According to multinational electronics company Sony, hidden sensors may be the future of connected homes. The company revealed the fruit of its four-year research project on the future of interaction design in its Hidden Senses exhibit at Milan design week, where it claimed that sensing devices will soon be able to transform regular home items into “points of technological interaction.”

The technology would surpass the regular gesture controls we see today, providing a more enriched lifestyle by allowing an object to easily double as anything from a music system to a light switch. These sensors will also have the ability to follow users around the home, providing light, music, photos and more wherever needed. A candleholder, for example, embedded with a sensor could function as a control for lighting when a user’s touch activates it, forming a type of intuitive integration with people’s lifestyle.