PayGo Smart Metering Technology

  • PayGo (TM) Smart Metering Technology
    Client: Paygo Energy & Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
    Location: Kenya

    Objective: To develop safe and intuitive hardware that enables smart metering and distribution of liquid propane gas (LPG).

    Context: PayGo Energy has developed a proprietary smart metering technology (SMT) that eliminates up-front LPG fuel costs and enables households to access modern fuel on a pay-as-you-go basis. Catapult was tasked with developing a concept for the enclosure of the device that was intuitive to both the user and distributor. The target market currently relies on less efficient and more dangerous fuel sources like kerosene due to the ability to purchase it in small increments. 

    Process: Catapult’s design team joined PayGo and its customers in an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya, to conduct a series of contextual interviews, observational research, and co-creation activities to understand how customers expect to interact with the SMT, LPG canister, stove, and PayGo employees. The synthesis of this research yielded distinct industrial design concepts representing different ways customers could interact with the SMT and the respective form implications. Special attention was given researching and designing an interface with symbols and effects that would be understood and interacted with intuitively. 

    Innovation & Impact: Catapult evolved the original industrial design to meet the needs of the customer and protect the internal components. We delivered a refined CAD model, a revised product requirements document, and a document outlining the SMT use case. This evolved prototype is currently in the pilot-testing phase. The upgraded design aims to encourage an increased access and use of modern fuel that is healthier to humans and more sustainable for the environment as compared to less efficient and more dangerous fuel sources such as kerosene.