Karlastaden is a new city center to be developed in the Gothenburg district of Lindholmen. Karlastaden Utveckling AB is planning for 2,000 residential units. These will include condominiums, tenancies, student apartments and housing for the elderly. In addition to apartments, there will be a generous helping of offices and commercial premises with restaurants and shops. The plan also includes the nordic countries highest residential building at 245 meters and 73 floors.

Read more at www.karlastaden.se

Illustration, Karlastaden Utveckling AB

What services will all these new inhabitants require?

There are naturally countless things to consider and plan for in a project of this scale. One of the things Karlastaden Utveckling needed to investigate was services;

  • What services will all these new inhabitants need and require from their homes, buildings and infrastructure?
  • What are their expectations, hopes and concerns? And how will they choose to interact with these services?

Intunio was asked to help Karlastaden Utveckling provide an answer to these questions.

An innovative approach

In our first sit-down with Martin Bergström, Project developer at Karlastaden, an idea formed around an innovative approach compared with traditional research methods. Utilising Intunio's experience and knowledge within conceptual application design, our project directive was to build an application that would simulate a selection of these services and grant users a hands-on preview of the experience. Users could then immediately feedback their comments and own ideas to Karlastaden from within the app.

The bigger picture...and the details

We quickly started sketching out high level mockups of potential scenarios and features that we hoped to explore in our application. We wanted to convey a “bigger picture” of potential features in a future smart home and city to draw interest and open up the imagination of our users. Still we needed enough detail for our users to provide specific feedback in questions that would guide the Karlastaden project development.

Dashboard overview

Addressing the first part of the problem we designed a Dashboard Start View presenting a wide range of potential services for users to browse through. Most of them with just a single extra view hinting at what the services could potentially offer. Users could then quickly leave their comments and add their own ideas to build on.

Transport, grocery services, and controls

In cases where Karlastaden needed more detailed feedback to inform their decisions, we designed deeper interactive scenarios. These allowed users to get a more hands on experience with features and opportunities. Some were utilising already existing technology as controlling lights, climate and door locks from your phone but with a deeper integration with floor plan and building data.

Our transport scenarios investigated more futuristic travel alternatives where users could choose from using the cableway to cross the canal or have an autonomous car pick them up in the lobby.

Would you someone into your fridge...while being at work?

Other scenarios were designed to make users aware of potential privacy concerns and get their help in finding the right balance. The question above was one of the more challenging to provide an answer to. Karlastaden has the opportunity to preinstall all necessary technology to enable this service but what is required for users to feel comfortable?

  • Requiring a manual confirmation from your phone to open your front door?
  • Ability to geofence certain areas only providing access to your hallway and kitchen?
  • A preinstalled kitchen camera allowing you to see your delivery man as he or she enters?

Collecting data

Simple and efficient data collection was one of the key aspects of the project. Qualitative data; emotional response, opinions and ideas had higher priority than quantitive statistics. Since the app was designed with data collection in mind, all parts of the application could easily be liked, rated or commented by our users. Using connected 3rd party tools, Karlastaden could then manage and visualise the data to inform their decision making process.

The app was developed together with Karlastaden Utveckling, Soft House and Microsoft. Available in the App Store since May 2017.