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Smartbottle ecosystem with two smart water refill stations, and core blocks of the ICT infrastructure.

Smartbottle ecosystem with two smart water refill stations, and core blocks of the ICT infrastructure.

Source publication
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Public higher education institutions have a particular moral responsibility in increasing the awareness, knowledge, skills and values required to create a fair and sustainable future. Through sustainable design, the Project Refill_H20 aims to eliminate the use of plastic water bottles in the 6 schools of the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castel...


... To use the refill station, the user must provide valid authentication by placing the smartbottle [51] (p. 21) in the station or inserting an ID card with native RFID technology and placing a conventional water bottle in the station of recharge. ...
... The test evaluated different tasks involved in the smartbottle use, such as picking up, drinking, carrying, and refilling. Prototyping and testing results allowed an understanding of user performance and relationship with the smartbottle and refill station [51]. ...
... HEIs play a decisive role not only in the training of future generations of decision-makers and professionals, providing them with the specific knowledge necessary to understand the interactions between human beings and the environment [6][7][8][9][10][11] but also by promoting a smarter and more sustainable campus designed to favoring wellbeing, health and safety, waste reduction, moderating water and energy consumption, promoting local and regional community participation, and developing new curricular environmental activities. All these actions are part of HEIs' effort toward sustainable development [9,11,51]. Here it is important to clarify that the so-called sustainable design has been a tool applied to reinforce HEIs' sustainability by providing new solutions to solve old problems, similar to this particular case, the over-use of plastic in bars, canteens, and halls of residence [3,7,8]. ...
Full-text available
Higher education institutions (HEIs) are favored environments for the implementation of technological solutions that accelerate the generation of smart campi, given the dynamic ecosystem they create based on the involvement of inspired and motivated human resources (students, professors, and researchers), moving around in an atmosphere of advanced digital infrastructures and services. Moreover, HEIs have, in their mission, not only the creation of integrated knowledge through Research and Development (R&D) activities but also solving societal problems that address the academic community expectations concerning environmental issues, contributing, therefore, towards a greener society embodied within the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This article addresses the design and implementation of a Smartbottle Ecosystem in which an interactive and reusable water bottle communicates with an intelligent water refill station, both integrated by the Internet of Things (IoT) and Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), to eliminate the use of single-use plastic water bottles in the premises of the Polytechnical Institute of Viana do Castelo (IPVC), an HEI with nearly 6000 students. Three main contributions were identified in this research: (i) the proposal of a novel methodology based on the association of Design Thinking and Participatory Design as the basis for Sustainable Design; (ii) the design and development of an IoT-enabled smartbottle prototype; and (iii) the usability evaluation of the proposed prototype. The adopted methodology is rooted in Design Thinking and mixes it with a Participatory Design approach, including the end-user opinion throughout the Smartbottle Ecosystem design process, not only for the product design requirements but also for its specification. By promoting a participatory solution tailored to the IPVC academic community, recycled plastic has been identified as the preferential material and a marine mammal was selected for the smartbottle shape, in the process of developing a solution to replace the single-use plastic bottles.
... The survey invited the population to identify a set of physical, aesthetic and functional requirements to allow the creation of specifications to develop a sustainable and intelligent water bottle (Mendes, 2021a). The collected data concerned material, volume, automatic opening and closing, easy refill, durability, aesthetical appearance, and communication with a platform to allow managing water consumption (Mendes, 2021b). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are favored atmospheres in the civic training of their audiences, undertaking a major role in Global Sustainable Development. The management of waste packaging represents a huge environmental footprint, particularly the plastic water bottles which constitute a major example of everyday waste that directly impacts our lives, not only ecologically, but also economically. Hence, the project RefillH20 proposes to reduce the sales of plastic water bottles in the 6 schools of the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo (IPVC), respective bars, canteens, and halls of residence. For this purpose, a smartbottle, equipped with a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip, has been designed and integrated within an institutional ecosystem, that includes several smart refill stations, enabling an automatic filling process with no physical contact with the equipment. This approach enables not only the computation of water consumption metrics typically used for hydration assessment but also the computation of relevant sustainability metrics and indicators through a mobile application, such as the number of refills per period of time, amount of consumed water, the estimated amount of averted plastic waste considering different approaches (temporal, cumulative, individual or referring to colleges, classes, etc.), the energy-saving from overall waste reduction and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and information on users’ environmental footprint. This work presents the development of a high fidelity UX Mobile App prototype, which aims to allow users of RefillH20 ecosystem to monitor their water intake habits, as well as their contribution to improving the overall environmental sustainability in academia, and thus promoting the creation of awareness regarding their effective ecological footprint. By using a UX Design approach, the users have been involved interactively with these new digital products and services idealization, through their appearance and how they feel, use and remember such interactions.