MIT cuts Media Lab energy use by 24 percent with clever prototype

first_imgWith every passing year technology becomes more personal and offers us more choice and control over our data and increasingly our surroundings. MIT is working to increase that control even further by developing a simple plastic wristband that will allow you to take charge of your environment as well as helping to conserve resources.Called WristQue, the project seeks to create a useful way for you to communicate with smart sensors that have been installed in a building. The wristband includes just three simple buttons, two to control temperature up and down, and a third offering the ability to interact with multiple electronic devices (computers, projectors, TV, etc.) using gestures. If the temperature of the room you are in is not to your liking, you will be able to simply adjust it using the WristQue. What happens when there are other people in the room with you? If there are three or more individuals present, then the majority will rule. If it’s just you and your spouse, the software will try to find a happy medium between the two desired temperatures. Each WristQue will be made via a 3D printer and contains sensors for detecting humidity and temperature levels as well as a wideband radio and microprocessor. This will help to pinpoint an individual’s location so the software knows which room to allow the user to interact with. While the project is still in development, MIT is taking the opportunity to test it with students in its Media Lab building. By tracking each individuals settings and movements, the system tries to predict when a room is going to be used and by whom so that it can get the climate right. In addition, motion sensors have been installed to signal the software when a room is empty, giving it the all-clear to bring the temperature to a maintenance level, therefore saving energy. As an example of how effective WristQue could be, this simple trial has cut energy use in the MIT Media Lab building by 24% over a 3 week period.Those savings were made just from controlling the climate, with the WristQue still to get lighting and electronic device control turned on. If they work effectively too, it could allow for a significant cut in energy use in both public and private buildings, including our homes. All done without us really having to think about it.Read more at New Scientistlast_img read more