Interactive Institute Swedish ICT in Sweden conducts world leading applied IT research that emphasizes interactivity, design and artistic viewpoints. Since the start in 1998, not only traditional academic research but also exploring borders between art, design, technology, and innovation have characterized the work. The Interactive Institute originated from an initiative from the state-owned Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research. Interactive Institute is owned by Research Institutes of Sweden (www.ri.se) and is a part of the Swedish ICT (www.sict.se). The institute has about 60 employees organized in eight research groups located in different areas of Sweden. Since 2004, the Interactive Institute Swedish ICT has initiated a series of research projects exploring how design and new technologies can be employed to increase people’s awareness of their everyday use of energy.
In the Young Energy project (2005 and forward), several energy learning games for both PC (PowerHouse) and for mobile phones (PowerAgent, Power Explorer and Agents against power waste) were developed. These early Java based phone apps allowed children and teenagers and their families to compete with other households to reduce their energy consumption. The prototypes were ground breaking in both being among the first pervasive learning games as well as being one of the first services utilizing smart meter technology.
The work has recently moved towards design for the smart grid system and interaction design of the physical and social environment surrounding the user. The main research question is currently focused on design and behaviour in the future energy system and users of a sustainable electric grid.
The institute also leads the national agenda for defining strategic challenges and opportunities for the games industry in Sweden.