Disappearing-Pattern Tiles Show Energy Use

Disappearing-pattern tiles are intended increase the average consumer's awareness of energy use. They were created as part of the STATIC! collaborative research project led by the Interactive Institute's research groups POWER and DESIGN Göteborg in Sweden.

Here's how it works: bathroom shower tiles are decorated with patterns using a thermo-chromic ink that reacts to heat. At the start, these tiles in a typical shower look normal.


(Disappearing-pattern tiles initial state)

As the consumer showers, hot water splashes onto the wall. The design, painted in with thermo-chromic ink, begins to fade. As hotter water is used, or as the length of the shower is prolonged, the more completely the shower wall loses its appealing pattern.


(Disappearing-pattern tiles after application of hot water)

The disappearing-pattern tiles provide a simple feedback mechanism for consumers to judge their energy use, in this case, the energy used to heat the water. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heating typically accounts for 14%-25% of the energy consumed in your home.

Read more at the STATIC! website.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/3/2006)

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