Embedding Intelligent Eco-aware Systems within Everyday Things to Increase People’s Energy Awareness


There is a lack of energy consumption awareness in working spaces. People in their workplaces do not receive energy consumption feedback nor do they pay a monthly invoice to electricity providers. In order to enhance workers' energy awareness, we have transformed everyday shared electrical appliances which are placed in common spaces (e.g. beamer projectors, coffee-makers, printers, screens, portable fans, kettles, and so on.) into persuasive eco-aware everyday things. The proposed approach lets these appliances report their usage patterns to a Cloud-server where the data is transformed into time-series and then processed to obtain the appliances' next-week usage forecast. Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) model has been selected as the potentially most accurate method for processing such usage predictions when compared with the performance exhibited by three different configurations of Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs). Our major contribution is the application of soft computing techniques to the field of sustainable persuasive technologies. Thus, consumption predictions are used to trigger timely persuasive interactions to help devices users to operate the appliances as efficiently, energy-wise, as possible. Qualitative and quantitative results were gathered in a between-three-groups study related with the use of shared electrical coffee-makers at workplace. The goal of these studies was to assess the effectiveness of the proposed eco-aware design in a workplace environment in terms of energy saving and the degree of affiliation between people and the smart appliances to create a green-team relationship.