Carnegie Mellon University

Fjin_mscd_architecture_2023 .pdf

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An Exploration of Visual Approaches in Augmented Reality to Enhance Energy Conservation in Residential Spaces Leveraging the IoT Data

posted on 2023-06-08, 19:42 authored by Fanjie Jin

The ongoing need to increase awareness and e!orts toward energy conservation in residential spaces is underscored by a pilot study investigating individuals' general attitudes toward energy conservation. The study reveals that participants (N = 12) generally exhibit a low commitment to energy conservation, indicating a need to enhance both awareness and proactive efforts in energy saving. The broader problem lies in the absence of engaging tools and interfaces that enable users to understand and manage their energy consumption in an engaging way. This could potentially be addressed through the intervention of augmented reality (AR) and the Internet of Things (IoT). However, conventional interactions with IoT devices exhibit a limited capacity to deliver rich and contextualized user experiences. To address this issue, this thesis proposes the use of AR as a critical instrument to support the understanding of energy conditions in a residential setting. AR, with its ability to merge real objects and virtual information, presents an opportunity to enhance the depth of information displayed and facilitate engaging interactions with the environment. 

The research approach encompasses conducting pilot studies and leveraging the insights gained from them to consolidate the prototype direction. Through these studies, three key architectural elements are identified to promote sustainability: (1) accessibility and visibility of energy level data, (2) optimization of control mechanisms, and (3) recommendations for proactive practices. I explore both in-situ spatial mapping and the use of simulated architectural models as interaction methods to achieve the three aforementioned objectives. A speculative system in a simulated virtual reality prototype is employed to demonstrate potential applications across various scenarios. The initial attempt is presented using descriptive images to a select group of participants, followed by an analysis of preliminary findings concerning users' perceptions of the system. One preliminary finding is that both interaction methods lead to enhanced awareness of energy consumption patterns and could potentially encourage users to adopt more energy-efficient behaviors. 




Degree Type

  • Master's Thesis


  • Architecture

Degree Name

  • Master of Science in Computational Design (MSCD)


Daragh Byrne, Daniel Rosenberg Munoz

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