Section: New Results

Towards Metamorphic Housing: the on-demand room

Participant : Michele Dominici [contact] .

This research activity is supported by Fondation Rennes 1 through the chair "Smart Home and Innovation", since January 2014. During the first year, we focused on identifying the needs of the industrial partners and public authorities that fund the chair.

This activity is centered on the concept of metamorphic housing (see section 4.2 ). During this year, we introduced a solution of metamorphic housing addressing the goals of saving space and energy in an apartment building, while preserving residents' comfort: the on-demand room. It consists in a space that is physically shared by a small group of apartments, but is assigned for the sole use of one or few particular ones at the time, as illustrated in Figure 3 . The room is designed so as to make occupants feel they did not leave their apartment at all. They seamlessly move from their dwelling to the on-demand room and conversely, without noticing the difference, as the room adapts to their preferences.

Figure 3. Floor plan for a metamorphic house

The underlying research problems are numerous. Dynamically "plugging" the room into a different apartment requires replacing the owner of the room's equipment, including appliances, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC), sensors, etc. The rights to control them and receive information from them must be dynamically reallocated. This must be done in a transparent fashion, so that off-the-shelf devices and appliances can be used.

In some cases, devices require dynamic reprogramming, like HVAC systems, because they must adapt to occupants' preferences and settings (e.g., ambient temperature set point).

Another research problem is the automatic learning of a schedule for the on-demand room. Regularities in users' requests for the room, duration of their occupation and privacy level can be discovered and learned. In this way, users do not have to manually book the room and usage conflicts can be prevented. We started investigating these research problems with an interdisciplinary approach and in collaboration with companies and public authorities [6] . We also started working on a prototype of the on-demand room solution, which will be presented as an immersive interactive virtual-reality application, leveraging the Immersia platform http://www.irisa.fr/immersia/ .