Plant metaphor

baby monitor

We developed a baby monitor Active Form to conduct a comparative study between the Active Form and a commercially available baby monitor. We choose to work with a baby monitor because Active Forms and the way they function can easily be understood through one of the originl inspiration for the concept: he relationship of the plant and the Alien in the fil ET.
We see Active Forms as playing a useful role in healthcare, by providing an intuitive mean to represent and communicate a patient's overall health condition.


A baby monitor provides the user with information about the room and the condition of the baby while in a remote location. Simon SCOTT_HARDEN built several prototypes, with the help of James THOMAS, before we settled for the current version.


The interaction with the Active Form is intuitive and is illustrated in figure below. One has to understand the device as the metaphor of a plant standing on the table in the living room of a home...

Plant UI
Interaction Principles

The demonstration below show the device in the different scenario of use: All is fine (do nothing); Room is too hot, baby is slightly upset (Lower the room temperature, play a lulaby); Room is too cold, baby is half asleep (increase room tempereature, talk to baby); Baby is upset and fully awake (Take the torch and go to see the baby).

Video Demonstration

This project was ran under my supervision by Simon SCOTT-HARDEN, Northumbria University.