Make Saving Energy More Appealing To Children With The Energy Pet

Checking the meter readings and saving energy isn't exactly the most exciting playtime for children but all that can change with the Energy Pet.

Checking the meter readings and saving energy isn't exactly the most exciting playtime for children but all that can change with the Energy Pet.


The Energy Pet is a fantastic new Tamagotchi-style animal creature that makes saving energy more appealing to kids.

Created by Matt Prescott, the founding organiser of E Day- a day which is dedicated to saving energy- the Energy Pet is a web interface prototype that converts real-time numerical energy data into the behaviour of an animated character.

The brilliant invention transforms utility meter data to stimulate a cartoon bear to offer a more emotionally-led representation of energy consumption.

The Energy Pet will grow and look happy when energy is saved but shrink and look unhappy or ill when excess energy is used.

Mr Prescott said he is looking to find partners to take the project forward, as he believes that schools would be a great testing ground for the technology.

He added: "We are emotionally-driven beings. But almost all existing attempts at representing energy data have been designed by engineers to communicate data literally to the small and sub-ordinate portion of the human brain that is rationally driven.

"Just presenting people with numbers about carbon emissions or kilowatts won't keep people's interest for long. By presenting the information through a character with facial expressions and gestures you can tell a more compelling and long-lasting story."

The web application can be presented on any platform from a tablet, desktop or mobile device and can provide an entertaining and on-going way of driving energy awareness.

If the installation includes nonintrusive load monitoring (NILM) technology, the interface could have different expressions depending on which appliances are being used. These sorts of meters can detect changes in voltage and current and identify when different appliances in the house are turned on and off.

It is hoped that in the long run the Energy Pets can compete against each other in a multiplayer game which uses a house controller; and that other utilities such as water can be incorporated to raise awareness about saving energy.

Want to be involved in the project and make energy readings more exciting for little ones? Contact Matt Prescott now by emailing energypet@e-day.org.uk.

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