Home // 2013

The flavour of the month: Paper-saving.

In the paper “Curbing Paper Wastage Using Flavoured Feedback,” researcher Richard Medland introduces an experiment in a certain tailoring of feedback with the goal of reducing paper wastage in a university setting. The main objective of the project is to better understand the motivation of staff in terms of more sustainable printing practices, and in this vein

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Coralog: A plea to idle no more.

In the paper “Coralog: Use-Aware Visualization Connecting Human Micro-Activities to Environmental Change,” the authors Tanyoung Kim, Hwajung Hong, and Brian Magerko introduce us to, well, Coralog, a computer widget that draws a parallel between computer idle time and the health of coral reefs. In the paper “Designing for Persuasion:Toward Ambient Eco-Visualization for Awareness,” the same

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Visualization in advertisement: Blunt black balloons.

As little lesson on effective communication via advertisement. While we know that information alone is not enough to change the behavior of most people, this Victorian Government campaign created by George Patterson Y&R Melbourne is an excellent visualization, which helps to describe the issue of carbon emissions related to habitual energy use. 1 black balloon

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The invisible hand of ambient eco-feedback.

In the paper, “Can Ambient Persuasive Technology Persuade Unconsciously? Using Subliminal Feedback to Influence Energy Consumption Ratings of Household Appliances” by Jaap Ham, Cees Midden, and Femke Beute we are presented with the possibility that ecofeedback tools might not only willingly guide you towards better environmental stewardship, but that they may be able to reach

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SINAIS from Fanal: For a more artistic approach to ecofeedback

In the paper “SINAIS from Fanal: design and evaluation of an art-inspired eco-feedback system,” authors Valentina Nisi, Nuno Jardim Nunes, Filipe Quintal, and Mary Barreto present SINAIS from Fanal, an ecofeedback tool guided by artistic sensibilities. The main project was build around SINAIS sensor system, a low-cost netbook that performs all the tasks associated with

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Shower calendar: A thousand points of comparative water consumption.

In the article ” With a Little Help from a Friend: A Shower Calendar to Save Water,” by Matthias Laschke, Marc Hassenzahl, Sarah Diefenbach, and Marius Tippkämperwe, we are introduced to an ambient visualization tool which allows users of a shower to compare relative water savings within a household. The authors suggest that ambient feedback is “non judgmental” in that it does

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O rly? A smiley face makes an impact with OPower.

“If something is inconvenient, even if we believe in it, moral suasion, financial incentives, don’t do much to move us — but social pressure, that’s powerful stuff.” – Alex Laskey For years Robert Cialdini, author of the must-read social psychology book Influence, has been studying the impact of social norms on behavior change and pro-environmental

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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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The new normal: Shaping norms with real-time data.

I was really happy to discover the city of Montreal had installed an eco-counter for one of it’s bike lanes in the Plateau-Mont Royal borough earlier this year. It’s located right outside of the Laurier street exit of the Laurier metro station, which is in a residential area north of the city’s downtown. The space

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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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