Your energy usage kept in check

Mona is a Bagaar product that was initially developed in collaboration with BGRID, it's Internet of Things departement. The challenge was to optimize the consumer’s energy usage, without having to sacrifice comfort. With Mona, you can find out how much energy you have been using, at any time of the day. You can compare your results with other Mona users and see whether you are doing well. This way, you will have full control of your energy usage, avoiding big surprises on your energy invoice.

Phase 01

Proof of concept

At Bagaar we strongly believe in prototyping. We feel the best way to pitch an idea is to release it in the real world. In this first phase we wanted to research if we could offer a solid solution based on our strong focus on technology. So we decided to build 5 prototypes, with built-in cameras, LEDs and communication modules. The cameras captured data, which was sent to a server and subsequently everything was processed by our first version of the OCR-software. Guess what? It worked! The technology provided the right amount of useful information and proved to be the perfect basis for further development.

Phase 02

Pilot Test

During this second phase, we broadened our focus. We organized a pilot test with 50 participants, in order to research user experience, user interface and data logging. We 3D-printed fully functional prototypes, designed a packaging and distributed the devices by mail. We wanted to capture the whole experience, from receiving the package, installing the device, to testing the usability of the web-based application we built with a slick user interface. It made us understand how to roll out and manage a real-life user test.





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At Bagaar we are dedicated to introduce the most simple and timeless designs to customers worldwide. We approach design in a holistic way to add the same user experience to the product, the interface and the packaging. For Mona, we decided to go for an honest design: pure functional lines for the hardware’s housing, beautiful and simple graphs in the user interface and a no-fuzz packaging that is easy to recycle. The housing was designed around a stack of three layers of PCB’s. The round shape was trimmed at the bottom to reduce the housing’s footprint and to give Mona its differentiated form factor.

Custom PCB

To really understand and control the process on how a product should work, we feel it is necessary to experiment with it. For Mona we developed our own custom designed PCB, making it possible to do proper testing. We baked the right components on the PCB and integrated electronics design and product design in-house.


Packaging & Installation

Unpacking a product is one of the first moments users get familiar with our brand and the device itself. The Mona packaging was designed to express simplicity and ecology. We chose not to print on the paper inlay to keep the materials as clean as possible for recycling. Only one sealing sticker was printed to match the color of the Mona brand. When opening the package you discover a welcome card, which also serves as a cardboard tool, only revealing the front of the Mona. The adaptor and the hook are hidden behind the cardboard inlay. The inlay was designed in one piece and serves as a shock absorber to make sure Mona can’t be damaged during shipping.


One of the more difficult challenges was to make sure the Mona meter was put in the exact position so the OCR could work properly. We came up with a little cardboard tool to correctly position Mona to the electricity meter. Our test audience had to log onto the app and follow the installation step by step. During the actual handling, the cardboard tool could be used as a quick reference, since the whole procedure was printed on it.

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User interface

When starting this project, we had two focus points in mind: a user had to be able to see how he was doing to reduce his consumption in a blink of an eye, with a clear insight on the cost and timing of his energy usage. So we opted to change the background color of the entire app to green if he was doing fine, and red if he was doing worse. We combined this direct feedback with a detailed graphic and the possibility to relate the user’s consumption to that of a peer group or to set a goal for himself. During the pilot test, we changed the interface very often to test usability, readability and adaptability. The test users were continuously asked for feedback.

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Phase 03


We have started new development cycles in this phase to put Mona into production. We are thrilled to see this happen in the months to come and we expect to launch Mona in 2016.

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  • June

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