Mounted control structure that takes care of the

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mounted control structure that takes care of the lights (which is what I did in my home). Switches and lights could communicate FIGURE 4.5. A Natural Mapping of Light Switches to Lights. This is how I mapped five switches to the lights in my living room. I placed small toggle switches that fit onto a plan of the home s living room, balcony, and hall, with each switch placed where the light was located. The X by the center switch indicates where this panel was located. The surface was tilted to make it easier to relate it to the horizontal arrangement of the lights, and the slope provided a natural anti-affordance, preventing people from putting coffee cups and drink containers on the controls. four: Knowing What to Do: Constraints, Discoverability, and Feedback 139 wirelessly instead of through the traditional home wiring cables. Instead of the standardized light plates for today s large, bulky switches, the plates should be designed for small holes appropriate to the small switches, combined with a way of inserting a floor plan on to the switch cover. My suggestion requires that the switch box stick out from the wall, whereas today s boxes are mounted so that the switches are flush with the wall. But these new switch boxes wouldn t have to stick out. They could be placed in indented openings in the walls: just as there is room inside the wall for the existing switch boxes, there is also room for an indented horizontal surface. Or the
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switches could be mounted on a little pedestal. As a side note, in the decades that have passed since the first edition of this book was published, the section on natural mappings and the difficulties with light switches has received a very popular reception. Nonetheless, there are no commercial tools available to make it easy to implement these ideas in the home. I once tried to convince the CEO of the company whose smart home devices I had used to implement the controls of Figure 4.5, to use the idea. Why not manufacture the components to make it easy for people to do this, I suggested. I failed. Someday, we will get rid of the hard-wired switches, which require excessive runs of electrical cable, add to the cost and difficulties of home construction, and make remodeling of electrical circuits extremely difficult and time consuming. Instead, we will use Internet or wireless signals to connect switches to the devices to be controlled. In this way, controls could be located anywhere. They could be reconfigured or moved. We could have multiple controls for the same item, some in our phones or other portable devices. I can control my home thermostat from anywhere in the world: why can t I do the same with my lights? Some of the necessary technology does exist today in specialty shops and custom builders, but they will not come into widespread usage until major manufacturers make the necessary components and traditional electricians become comfortable with installing them. The tools for creating switch configurations that use good mapping principles
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