Kristian Knobloch's Ping system is a digital house manual for Airbnb guests
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Kristian Knobloch's Ping system is an interactive house manual for Airbnb guests

Graduate shows 2016: Royal College of Art graduate Kristian Knobloch has created a system of smartphone touchpoints that help Airbnb hosts give guests extra information about their home (+ movie).

Called Ping, the system features modules that can be placed around the house. When guests touch their smartphone against a module, it opens a web page on their device, providing them with more information about their surroundings.

Kristian Knobloch's Ping system is a digital house manual for Airbnb guests

Designed to be a "digital and interactive guide book", Ping lets absent hosts communicate essential information about their homes, like how to use the coffee machine or TV, or checkout requirements.

The modules can also function as a guide to the surrounding area, including recommendations for restaurants or shopping. Homeowners can record videos or voice notes to welcome guests, or explain more complex details.

Kristian Knobloch's Ping system is a digital house manual for Airbnb guests

"The sharing economy has lastingly influenced our society," Knobloch told Dezeen. "But when it comes to flat sharing, our private spaces were never intended to be rented out to strangers."

"Ping provides guests with a touchpoint to refer to in each room," the designer added. "This way they won't be lost ever again in an unknown space."

Kristian Knobloch's Ping system is a digital house manual for Airbnb guests

Within each module is a near field communication (NFC) chip that communicates with smartphones, triggering the opening of a web browser.

The modules' red tops were selected to make sure the touchpoints stand out in a room, while the surrounding wood was designed to complement interiors – making the Ping system appear closer to homeware than a technical product.

A built-in messaging system and a voice call option allow guests to directly contact the home owner with any further questions. Currently NFC chips work with most Android and Samsung phones, and Knobloch plans to integrate Bluetooth beacons that will make Ping compatible with iPhones too.

Kristian Knobloch's Ping system is a digital house manual for Airbnb guests

"Studies see the sharing economy growing from currently $15 billion to $335 billion in 2025," said Knobloch, who is a student of the MA Design Products course.

"New sharing services in other industries will come up, and the ongoing success of the whole sharing economy will certainly stimulate more supporting tools and systems around the major services and platforms like Airbnb."

Kristian Knobloch's Ping system is a digital house manual for Airbnb guests

The home-sharing service recently launched its own design studio, which will focus on architecture, service design and software engineering. Its first project was a collaboration with Japanese architect Go Hasegawa to design a house of the future for a Japanese exhibition.

Ping was on display at the ShowRCA 2016 exhibition, held at the Royal College of Art's Kensington campus from 26 June to 3 July 2016.

Dezeen was media partner for the event, which also showcased a pocket-sized tool to identify fonts, a gadget for transforming the human voice into instruments and a set of "cute" kitchen appliances.