Hafslund is Norway’s energy giant, with extensions in home security and internet services. In 2005, they asked WORK to come up with a concept for something that would allow homeowners to monitor their security, power usage, communication services and weather all in one place – ten years in the future. We looked into our proverbial crystal ball and got to work.
One of the first things we looked at was how technology was managed in the average home. Most people had things like multi-function, button-crazy remote controls, Apple AirPorts, automated appliances, and no shortage of thick, confusing instruction manuals. Our solution was to develop a small, wall-mounted touchpad that was so easy to use it did not come with an instruction manual. The touchpad provided insight into a homeowners' utility usage and security for each room and the house overall. They could also peek at their email, voicemail, and check their internet signal strength at the same time. With the touch of one of the bright colored panels or the swipe of the finger, the homeowner saved themselves the trouble of running all around the house to make sure an alarm was on, or that they hadn’t accidentally turned something off while turning another thing on. Best of all, the touchpad made million-button remote controls and clever solutions for cable storage a thing of the past.
Upon presenting the concept to Hafslund they were very receptive, and implemented parts of it into their services. It’s funny to think we did all that in 2005, way before the iPhone and iPad made touchpads seem like we could never run our lives or homes without them. You’re welcome, Apple! (Don’t tell them we said that.)