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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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Electronic & Computer Engineering Final Year Project Interim Report

Name Patrick Lu

ID 15154149


Supervisor Colin Fitzpatrick

2 Table of Contents




2.2 SIGFOX 3







3 Introduction and project outline

1. Clearly documents the project aims and objectives.

As consumers push for cheaper and cheaper home appliances, their average lifespans have been steadily decreasing. This is due to manufacturers being forced to use cheaper materials in order to lower their prices. This increases waste generated from more disposed appliances and puts more strain on the environment as consumers and manufacturers buy and replace rather than reuse and repair.

A circular economy proposes using longer lasting design, repair, reuse, and maintenance along with recycling and refurbishing to reduce waste and emissions. One way of achieving this is by shifting to a pay per use system for home appliances. Manufacturers would be incentivised to create longer lasting, higher quality machines as customers are paying throughout the life of the machine rather than upfront. Consumers would see benefit from a lower upfront cost and better quality and standard machines being available that they otherwise would not be able to purchase outright. This model also has benefits for the environment as paying per use would encourage fuller, less frequent loads.

One way the pay per use model can be achieved is by using connected IoT device technologies. The aim of this project is to use an IoT sensor to evaluate the feasibility of monitoring the use of a washing machine and creating a model for pay per use billing.

4 Literature Survey

1. Review of the literature and the necessary background to the work.

• Pay per use model paper

• Sigfox paper

4.1 Pay per use model for washing machines

The environmental and sustainability arguments for switching to a pay per use model for home appliances are clear. This suggests switching from a model of buying an appliance, using it for a few years, then disposing of it and buying a new one when it breaks. Instead consumers purchase a plan or pay for the use of the appliance and the provider takes on the responsibility of providing and maintaining the appliance. This would encourage manufacturers to make longer lasting products with a focus on longevity rather than upfront selling cost to maximise profits. Current home appliance lifespans are decreasing due to an increasing demand from consumers for cheaper appliances and the ‘smartphone effect'. Manufacturers are lowering the quality of their products to meet the customer's price demands. Consequently, the lifespans of these products are decreasing. A new emerging trend is also seeing manufacturers bringing out new features and designs in their products to try convincing customers to upgrade and buy new machines. This all leads to an increase in unsustainable appliance waste. [1, 2]

Sustainable business models

Sustainable consumption

Stimulate sustainable consumption, change how they buy use and dispose

Different ways of designing for sustainability

Table Sustainable Design Strategies [3]

Design Intervention Description

Eco-Choice – design oriented empowerment To encourage consumers to think about their use behaviour and to take responsibility of theirs actions through providing consumers with options.

Eco-feedback – design oriented links to environmentally or socially responsible action To encourage consumers to think about their use behaviour and to take responsibility of theirs actions through providing consumers with options.

Eco-feedback – design oriented links to environmentally or socially responsible action To inform users clearly about what they are doing and to facilitate consumers to make environmentally and socially responsible decisions through offering real-time feedback.

Eco-spur – design oriented rewarding incentive and penalty To inspire users to explore more sustainable usage through providing rewordings to ‘prompt' good behaviour or penalties to ‘punish' unsustainable usage.

Eco-steer – design oriented affordances and constraints To facilitate users to adopt more environmentally or socially desirable use habits through the prescriptions and/or constraints of use embedded in the product design.

Eco-technical intervention – design oriented technical intervention To restrain existing use habits and to persuade or control user behaviour automatically by design combined with advanced technology.

Clever design To automatically act environmentally or socially without raising awareness or changing user behaviour purely through innovative product design.

Features must not annoy people, or they will be turned off [4]. This means a balanced approach must be taken to changing behaviour.

In recent years, access based services have been gaining traction and interest. Through this model the consumer is freed of the burdens of ownership by reducing their exposure to the financial pressure perceived risk of ownership [5].

Potential environmental benefits – lesser studied area little first hand studies. HOMIE study

Potential to stimulate sustainable consumption

4.2 Sigfox

A potential problem with traditional WIFI connected internet devices is connection issues or user interference. If the user was to turn their internet off or encounter a service disruption, then either they could not use their washing machine or would not be correctly billed for its use. One solution to this problem is the use of low power independent wireless networks with devices that are always connected. One example of this is the Sigfox network.

5 Theory

1. Present the analytical and technical theoretical aspects of the work

• How does iSwip work

• How does sigfox network work

6 Outline designs

1. This should describe progress to date and typically include some detailed designs, describing hardware, software or process related topics, as appropriate for the project.

• iSwip description

• How does SigFox to AWS work

An iSwip SwipTrack Maxi device is being used as the IoT sensor. It has an accelerometer and GPS sensors built in with a battery life of up to 5 years.

7 Detailed action plan

1. This can be in the form of a Gantt chart for the project, in particular showing all the major tasks and their estimated start date, end date and duration in days.

8 Requirements of facilities and materials

9 References and sources of information


[1] N. Cassidy. (2014). Why washing machines die young. Available:

[2] J.-c. Lee, H. T. Song, and J.-M. Yoo, "Present status of the recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment in Korea," Resources, Conservation and Recycling, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 380-397, 2007/06/01/ 2007.

[3] T. Bhamra, D. Lilley, and T. Tang, "Design for Sustainable Behaviour: Using Products to Change Consumer Behaviour," The Design Journal, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 427-445, 2015.

[4] R. Wever, J. van Kuijk, and C. Boks, "User‐centred design for sustainable behaviour," International Journal of Sustainable Engineering, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 9-20, 2008/03/01 2008.

[5] T. Schaefers, S. J. Lawson, and M. Kukar-Kinney, "How the burdens of ownership promote consumer usage of access-based services," Marketing Letters, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 569-577, 2015.

10 Stuff

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