SENTIENTTHINGS: Towards augmented everyday objects that self-adapt and co-educate users to underpin their pro-environmental behaviour through persuasive technologies


The hypothesis of this project is that it is possible to influence positively in the behaviour of people when they face some of the main societal challenges through the interaction with everyday objects augmented and connected to Internet. The premise is that through a positive user experience in such interaction, users obtain a learning, confidence and reciprocity feeling in the relation among devices and people. The project tackles three critical aspects which are paramount to enable the progressive adoption of such devices in our daily life and, thus, help us improving certain daily activities which effect social and environmental aspects. Such aspects are: a) Learning -- SentientThings must help us and learn from our habits and needs at each moment, whilst people have to learn from the information, impulses and stimuli that they provide us; b) Confidence -- such learning has to emerge from a relationship of confidence and acceptance of devices, preserving, among other aspects, the sense of privacy and continuous control perception over those devices. Thus, humans will perceive their utility and will maintain their use across time; c) Reciprocity -- given that it has been demonstrated that putting aside users from task management when seeking efficiency usually generates an adverse effect; it is necessary to encounter a balance between some tasks automation and the collaboration and implication of the final users. SentientThings can be applied to cover diverse areas where process improvement is needed by society and will generate a positive impact. The use case considered in this proposal is embossed within environmental sustainability, bearing in mind the impact that human factors play in energy efficiency and how augmented objects and people can collaborate to face them.