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Background : Before electricity became an everyday commodity people had a much more direct experience of energy production and its use. For example, by using wood for making fire, the process of cutting down trees, chopping the wood into pieces, and carrying it into the house for cooking and heating gave a much more direct relationship with what energy is than we have today.
However, nowadays, power production sites are ofen situated far from the actual consumption points, we do not see that electricity production has negative environmental impacts. And terms like kilowatts and kilowatt-hours are not clearly understood by most of us. Lack of energy informing and awareness led to energy abusing and wasting.
Problem defining : We surrounded by so many electricity appliances everyday, but we know less about their energy consuming situation. For example, how much energy does each of them will consume; is there any silence energy consumption situation exist; what is the energy using condition in the different period of time at home, etc. The data that we can assess via electricity meter and bill also fails to answer above questions. Lack of efficient and transparent method to access energy data makes us difficult to save the energy or control energy using behavior.
Data sensing : For someone who wants to know the accurate and instant electricity using data, the data provided by the electricity meter and bill are useless. Therefore it’s necessary to find alternative ways and technologies to acquire data. Through research, I found that CT sensors can use a non-invasive way to detect the current in the cable instantly, which means people can get the real-time electricity data without cutting and reconnecting wires. It also means people can operate it safely.
Why use form of Clock: Several research shows that in order to rise the awareness of energy consumption people need to be continuously informed, that require the energy informing device must easy to access, find a space in home and fit into a pre-existing culture. Hence, instead of introducing a completely new device to visualize the energy consumption, I would like to make use of existing product and hack into it to visualize the energy.
How it works: CurrenTime clock combines energy data with the familiar face of a clock. The second-hand of the clock indicates how much energy(current) is being used at real time, where each segment of the clock dial represents 100W. When the total electricity usage in a house exceeds 1200W, the second hand will using a tremble way to indicate and remind user of their electricity consumption.
This project challenges the current language of power consumption and abstract meter by proposing a new language that is not only understood but also felt. The attempt is to build the link between human perception and energy consumption.