Spies of Tesla

How might we educate kids on how to be energy efficient on an everyday basis?

Spice of Tesla is a combination of a smart toy and a digital game. The goal of the product is to educate kids on how to be energy efficient. This product is a speculative idea in the near future, where every household will have smart everything.


How it works

Spies of Tesla is a speculative idea designed for the near future. The future household includes smart bulb, smart switch and smart everything…

It helps kids to be energy efficient by building a virtual city in the app. To power the virtual city, the app uses the energy saved in the living house. The more power saved in the real world, the more power there is in the virtual world.


The app connects to the wifi network and is able to detect all the devices plugged in the house. It will create a map of the devices and displays the energy consumption of that device.


Smart toy

The Watt detector will have of 5 feet radius map of all the smart devices. The kids could unfold the toy and transform it to a telescope and hold it as a spy tool to detect where the stands electrify is located. The kids then will be able to find the appliance and put a sticker to notify the parents to turn off the appliance.



Collaborated with Ailun Sai (MFA Product of Design)
Duration: 2 weeks

My role entailed
1. Ideation of Spied of Tesla and designed mobile application both UX and UI
2. Research on technology and energy waste.
3. Project management; Assigning tasks, so that we make the deadline


User scenario


Research insights

1. Today, kids are in age of iEverything.
From tablets being added to classrooms across the country to individual games systems at home, children are constantly being exposed to technology.
Source: Washington post

2.”Vampire” appliances use electricity even when they “off” by going into standby mode. These can Computers and computer-related equipment, television, phone and household items. What most people don’t realize is that these chargers are continually drawing power, even when no device is connected to them.

3. In U.S. alone, more than $1 billion a year is wasted on electricity for computer monitors that are turned on when they shouldn’t be.
Source: NPR.com

User interviews

Q: Where does electricity come from? “From recycling stuff”, “It’s light”, “From outside”

Q; What does electricity do? “It’s a system that chargers stuff”, “I can watch TV”

Q: Is electricity free? “Yes, it is!”, (Nods yes), “Yes”

Q: Can electricity be wasted? “Nooo”, “No”, “No”

Q: What is solar power? “It’s from the sun”

8-10 year old

Children in the 8-10 range are pretty complex. They like being seen as the authorities on their favorite topics; they enjoy the “Shock factor”

They feel more empowered to push back rules, ideas, and directions.

…let them create and build any type of environment they want, with their own rules around behaviors, activities, and physics.

Constructionism, which maintains that kids learn concepts like logic, language, and math as they build things on their own.

Source: Design for Kids by Debra Levin Gelman | Rosenfeld


Sketches and Prototype

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