A project by Northumbria University Newcastle


Domestic Widgets are cute tiny do-it-yourself creations that display public data, so you can create your own smart home. Once built, you can tell your creation what to do using just your voice. No soldering, no coding - just build, customize, plug and say!


Inspired by the Paper Signals from Google, we developed Domestic Widgets as part of a research project at the Northumbria University in Newcastle. This project explores how the Internet-of-Things can help us in our everyday lives. The Widgets allow you – rather than us – to easily make use of (public) data that is widely available around us. As such, we can see what kind of data you might find usefull, how you would like to represent this data, and how this representation is used in everyday life. David Verweij, who is a PhD Candidate at Northumbria, is running this project, and is available for any questions, suggestions or remarks! Contact him through the form below.



Domestic Widgets core components are its microcontroller, tiny servo and the usb cable. You can basically incorporate these components into any object you have, or make! However, to get you started, we developed a small and easy foldable base. These four steps below are all it takes to bring your widget alive!

Do you have a Mini Domestic Widget? Click on the button below!

Mini Domestic Widget


If you want, you can use our cardboard template to fold your first base. It requires no glue or tape, as it is hold together by a single rubber band. Yet, you don’t have to user our template! What would you make?


By powering the microcontroller and its tiny servo motor, we can bring some life into your Widget! Using the webbrowser on your phone, you can set it up to work on your own Wi-Fi network.


What would the Widget be, without some awesome decorations? Use anything you like, to make the widget truly yours! Glue, tape, pencils, markers and alike – your imagination is the limit!


Now, what kind of data should your Widget display? Talk to our custom software on the Google Assistant app, and tell it what you want it to do! No coding and no laptop required.



Domestic Widgets have been spotted in the Interactions Magazine. The Demo Hour column shows snapshots of (ongoing) work in the Human Computer Interaction community. See the article below, of read[…]

Read more


Yes! We have progressed to the moment where we will start sending out some Domestic Widgets for you to try. As part of the research that aims to develop these[…]

Read more


On the 28th and 29th of April, three wonderful volunteers staffed a stand at the UK Maker Faire at the Life Science Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Here, visitors[…]

Read more


Enthousiastic about the project? Want toknow more, or perhaps participate in the development of the system? In the upcoming months we will be further developing the system (e.g. the data sources), the design (e.g. the cardboard model) and will do so by collaboratively evaluating this with our users: that is you! Do you want to stay up-to-date with the project, and want to be notified whenever a (free) workshop or user study is plannend? Then sign up for our newsletter by clicking on the button below! We expect to send an e-mail less than once a month – and you can always unsubscribe if you feel like it.



If you have any question, remark, suggestion or alike – please contact us via the form below. We will do our best to respond as soon as possible.