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The Element: Shedding a light on energy consumption

In the paper “Visualizing Energy Consumption of Radiators,” authors Magnus Gyllensward, Anton Gustafsson, and Magnus Bang consider how to make the energy used in heating a home visible. They developed a radiator made entirely of light bulbs, which responds to temperature changes in a room using sensors. The main aim of the research was to

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EnergyLife: Three steps to household energy awareness.

In the paper “Eco-Feedback on the Go: Motivating Energy Awareness,” the authors present EnergyLife, a multifaceted too that shares information about household electricity consumption in a variety of fashions. In addition to providing seemingly straightforward information on energy use, EnergyLife also incorporates a gaming environment in order to reward the user as they achieve certain goals related to energy conservation. More than just

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A Wee Water Saver: the Waterpebble

  The story goes that Paul Priestman, a director of design at Priestmangoode, conceived of this idea after reading a simple sign in a hotel bathroom. The sign asked to “Please Use Water Sparingly.” In one article I read he suggested the sign was stupid… but look what it lead to… not long after reading it, the

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The Nest thermostat learns what to do to keep you comfy. Hopefully it teaches you a thing or two in the process.

Energy savings could certainly use a little sex appeal. Enter the fine folks who helped develop the now ubiquitous iPod and iPhone – products that revolutionized the smart phone market and virtually insured that most North Americans carry a tiny computational device in their pocket or purse. It was only a matter of time before the

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eMeter: Mobile metering of household appliances

In the paper “Evaluating mobile phones as energy consumption feedback devices,” authors Markus Weiss, Claire-Michelle Loock, Thorsten Staake, Friedemann Mattern, and Elgar Fleisch, of ETH Zurich’s Institute for Pervasive Computing and Information Management departments consider the potential for a meaningful relationship between increasingly pervasive smart metering systems and and smart phones as a means to deliver quick, timely information to the user. Recognizing that

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Waste not: Weigh your Waste

In the 2009 conference paper ” Weigh your waste: a sustainable way to reduce waste,” authors  Alex A. Gartland and Paulina Piasek present an interactive waste disposal device, which helps users recycle and/or reduce waste in the home or work environment. The system they propose is made up of a digital scale that is embedded inside a large wheelie-style trash receptacle, along with a

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Power Agent: Playing mission possible

Here is another eco-feedback tool developed by the fine folks of Sweden’s experimental Interactive Institute (the people behind the Power Aware Cord). In the paper  “Evaluation of a pervasive game for domestic energy engagement among teenagers,” authors Anton Gustafsson and Magnus Bång present a mobile phone game called Power Agent, which targets teenagers and their families. The game is designed to

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Eco Drop Shower: shorten your shower, or else.

So this is a new one for me: a proposed eco-feedback tool that appears to work on the premise that you might want to avoid discomfort (i.e. punishment), around the consumption of water. This would be for the people not easily swayed by the likes of water consumption tools such as Show me or Eco Showerdrop.

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Tidy Street: The word on the street about energy use

I know what you’ve been thinking: isn’t it ironic that so many eco-feedback tools designed to decrease energy use, also consume energy? Well, not given the actual definition of the term “ironic,” but it is  interesting to note that our reliance on electricity in computer-based feedback leads to minor amounts of electricity being consumed in the pursuit of a

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Eco Showerdrop: water savings by the drop

Much like the Show-Me, the commercially available Eco Showerdrop is a tool to help you better understand how much water you are consuming in the shower.  This product compares your consumption to the “recommended amount”  which is 35 liters, according to the information on the company’s website.  The digital display includes a duration of shower, volume in liters and an outline of a

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