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sMArt Office – UID Mannheim goes smart and green!

In March, UID Mannheim found a new home in the heart of the city. But we want our new office to be more than just new, we want it to be smart and green. A challenge that a UID team from Berlin, Mannheim and Ludwigsburg successfully faced in a coding camp. Now, our smart herb garden always spices our lunch up with fresh herbs thanks to IoT and AI—and completely autonomous at that. However, it is only one of the ideas brought to life during two days and one night of hard work. But see for yourselves:

Inspiration boost

What do soap bubbles and a football field have in common? Or grasshoppers and robots? A bionic tour at the Mannheim Technomuseum gave us lots of inspiration for our coding camp. When it comes to perception, walking or building, mother nature is the best inventor. Therefore, bionics analyze nature’s creations and transfer the mechanisms onto technical concepts. A camera whose technology is based on an owl’s localization system or a robot that moves like a grasshopper are only two examples for the opportunities provided by bionics. Full of new impressions, we immediately got to work in order to create an office with a special UX factor.

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With IoT & AI to a green office

A fresh and healthy lunch without having to lift a finger for it – our smart organic herb garden does the work for us. It is not only the centerpiece of our new kitchen but was also at the center of our coding camp. Equipped with sensors and cameras, our herb plots look after themselves. Do the plants have enough light? What about water? Is the temperature okay? Sensors collect important data that influence growth and autonomously control light, temperature, humidity, fertilization and watering.

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Getting the green light

Going strong or dying of thirst? The web dashboard enables us to keep an eye on our plants’ health. Depending on the color and size of the leaves, the system analyzes the growth and health and visualizes them in generative graphics. That way, everyone can see at a glance whether a plant is healthy and can be harvested.

Smart feel-good atmosphere

In addition to the smart herb garden, a digital door plate brings more UX into the workplace. It regularly retrieves data from the room allocation calendar, displaying right at the meeting room whether and for how long it has been booked. But we want our staff and visitors alike to feel good in our smart office. Therefore, our kitchen provides a colorful welcome: It lights up in the corporate colors of our visitors.

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We are extremely impressed by what our colleagues have achieved in such a short time. And there have even been more new ideas. We can’t wait to bring them to life. Because one thing is clear: Life can always be smarter and greener.