An emotionally intelligent smart home is coming and Panasonic's new installation for the London Design Biennale at Somerset House brings smart lighting into the mix.
Kasa is an experimental collection of round smart lights that use "finely tuned vibration sensors" which analyse whether they are being handled roughly or gently i.e. are you in a calm and gentle mood or an aggro one?
If you're chilled out, the prototype Kasa lights will glow through cracks in the exterior but if you don't handle them with care, they basically shut themselves down in protest.
Inspired by Japanese ideas of natural beauty, the lights are intentionally delicate and the functionality fits into the Emotional States theme of the London Design Biennale which runs until 23 September. They were designed by Panasonic's new Kaden Lab design studio in Kyoto in collaboration with local craftsmen.
You can see how, in practice, it'd be pretty damn irritating if your ambient lights switched off when you were in a bad mood. But Panasonic says the aim is to reinforce positive behaviours and discourage negative ones via these connected, mood reading objects.
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"The design of everything around us - our homes, environments, the clothes we wear and the products we surround ourselves with - all have immense power to influence our state of mind," said Takehiro Ikeda, creative director of Panasonic Design. "As new technology becomes ever more embedded into our everyday lives, there is no better time to explore the impact design can have on the very human language of emotions that we all intuitively understand and respond to."