Wattitude: Be aware of your watts

Wattitude gruppen vår!
Group 10 of NTNU’s IT2901, year 2014. Front row from left: Pia Lindkjølen, Lars Erik Græsdal-Knutrud, Tor-Håkon Bonsaksen. Back row: Håvard Holmboe Lian, Beate Baier Biribakken. Not in photo: Per Øyvind Kanestrøm.

Do you know how much your neighbor’s electricity consumption is compared to yours? What if she consumes half of the electricity that you consume? What if your neighbor could give you some tips? These ar e the question we try to answer with Wattitude, an Android app our student colleagues in IT2901 are making this spring.

As part of our research within smart energy we are trying to use ICT to include consumers of electric power in processes that are normally reserved for large electricity companies. Modern technology offers possibilities that can empower private consumers and at the same time preserve the environment. In order to allow this happen consumers need information that can support their decision making. Here comes Wattitude.

Wattitude screen and main menu.

Wattitude is an app that allows you to do the following:

  • See your electricity consumption in a more granular way. An average Norwegian household has only one main counter for electricity. It is not easy to see details about  how we consume electricity. For instance, is it heating the house or heating the bath water that gives me big electricity bills?
  • Compare yourself to others. What if you could see how much electricity your neighbor, living in a house of the same size, consumes? What if you could see the average consumption of all your Facebook friends having approximately same size house living in your city?
  • See energy saving tips from others. There are books on how to save energy. But it is something else to share experience and practical tips. If you did something smart that gave you a smaller bill, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to share it with your friends and help them achieve savings too? Or be able to see what others do in their house to save energy?

Wattitude is currently in its very Beta. The main focus so far has been to work with user concepts for building awareness and attitude towards more informed energy saving behavior. The roadmap for Wattitude and our research in smart energy includes several additional steps. As part of our participation in the EU R&D project CoSSMic we will include functionality for integrating solar power production.

Roadmap for Wattitude starts with awareness and crowdsourced awareness, and moves up to automation.

This means Wattitude users who also own solar panels in their buildings will be able to get similar functionality for their solar panels (e.g. how much have I produced? How much has my neighbor produced etc.). We further plan to add wireless access to appliances. Near future smart house technology will allow users to control appliances and devices in the house using wireless technology. This means Wattitude could be extended to include automatic registration of consumption from individual appliances, with the possibility to control and set automatic rules for how electricity should be consumed at home.

This blog post is originally from www.UbiCollab.org.

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