Graduate students at the Indiana University School of Informatics have developed WattBot, a residential electricity monitoring and feedback system that will be presented at ACM’s Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) conference on April 9 in Boston. “We have designed an elegant system that displays electricity consumption information and encourages conservation, so homeowners can better manage their energy usage over time,” says Dane Petersen, who designed WattBot along with Jay Steele and Joe Wilkerson. “Our design leverages the interactive innovations of the iPhone and iPod Touch and uses a home wireless network to allow us to deliver a compelling and portable experience.” Similar projects include Google’s PowerMeter, but Steele says WattBot provides more detail than other projects. “With WattBot, we developed a concept that would be able to monitor specific devices and circuits within the home, allowing a finer grained perspective,” Steele says. “This addresses the issue of residual power and standby power devices, which would really never show up on the Google PowerMeter display.” More than 2,000 professionals from more than 40 countries are expected to attend CHI 2009, which runs from April 4-9.
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