master course project —


Physical and gestural interaction with smart lighting

Duration: 3 weeks

From light bulbs, security cameras, thermostats to robotic vacuum cleaners, the home environment is getting more and more ‘smart’. Within the reach of a mobile app, consumers have countless possibilities to control and read out each connected device’s state. This graphical representation of data is undoubtedly useful when it comes to scalability and flexibility of including features and displaying information. On the other hand, visually interpreting these large chunks of information can become cognitively demanding and interacting with a glass screen can also be rather boring. Within the scope of smart lighting, we designed Opal to bring back the joy of interacting with the physical, analogue, material. Opal taps into the intuitivity of human motor skills – it is designed to carry over interactions we have learned by manipulating physical objects in our everyday environment.

Preserving the core functionality of a Philips Hue light setup, users control connected light bulbs through a series of mechanical interactions and bodily gestures. The light bulbs are turned on/off by flipping the device upside down. Rotating the entire device relative to its context controls the brightness of an individual light bulb and rotating the upper half of the device against its relative bottom half changes the color or warmth of the light, which can be toggled between by pressing the device. Finally, shaking the device lets users switch between individual bulbs to control, indicated by a subtle blink from the active bulb.

Tangible Interaction
Smart Home


Interaction Design - Chalmers University of Technology

Project course

Tangible Interaction '19


Simon Mare, Sten Rõngelep, Mike Shirnazar, Johannes Kjellberg, Jens Hulteberg

Related projects