Wattfinder, a residential monitor developed by IU informatics students, generates energy savings
As a response to the growing demand by residential consumers to understand and manage home electricity usage, Dane Petersen, Jay Steele and Joe Wilkerson, all graduate students at the IU School of Informatics, have developed Wattfinder, a residential electricity monitoring and feedback system.
They will present their conceptual prototype at Association for Computing Machinery's Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) conference 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. 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," noted Petersen.
Wattfinder is part of an emerging trend to give homeowners information necessary to control energy usage. Other projects include Google PowerMeter, a project to monitor whole-house energy usage. However, according to Steele, Wattfinder shows more detail than other projects.
"With Wattfinder, we developed a concept that would be able to monitor specific devices and circuits within the home, allowing a finer grained perspective. This addresses the issue of residual power and standby power devices, which would really never show up on the Google PowerMeter display."
The annual conference on Computer-Human Interaction (www.chi2009.org) is the premier worldwide forum for exchanging information on all aspects of how people interact with computers. CHI 2009 runs from April 4-9 at the Hynes Convention Center.
It offers two days of pre-conference workshops and four days of dynamic sessions that explore the future of computer-human interaction with researchers, practitioners, educators and students.
More than 2,000 professionals from over 40 countries are expected at this year's conference, which marks 27 years of research, innovation and development of the Computer-Human Interaction community. CHI 2009 is sponsored by the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Human Interaction.