Streamlined assessment to assist in the design of Internet-of-Things (IoT) Enabled Products: a case study of the smart fridge

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Dekoninck, Elies; Barbaccia, Francesca
Series: ICED
Institution: University of Bath
Section: Systems Engineering
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


This paper shows how designers of IoT-enabled products can assess the environmental impacts associated with the user behaviour and the service system around the product. High-quality secondary data and a user-behaviour survey were able to highlight critical aspects of a smart fridge?s design. A streamlined LCA looked at just the in-use phase of the product within 4 PSS scenarios. The system included: the effects on the food waste; grocery shopping methods; fridge door openings; and how the users interact with the smart fridge features. The results show that a smart fridge as within a PSS can reduce the impact on the environment (GWP of 21,700 kg CO2-eq within the ?average PSS scenario? and GWP of 23,100 kg CO2-eq for the normal fridge with ?typical scenario?). The product?s increased emissions are counteracted by the reduction in GWP due to: reduction in food waste; and shifts from brick-and-mortar grocery shopping to e-commerce. Therefore some of the critical aspects of the product?s design that are most influential on the environmental impact of an IoT fridge are: the design of the web-browsing capability; and the use-by date tracking system.

Keywords: (IoT) Enabled Products, Streamlined LCA, Product-Service Systems (PSS), Ecodesign, Case study


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