I’ve noticed growing innovation in the “track your greenness using our hip new digital tool” space.
UbiGreen, presented at CHI 2009 in Boston last week, uses a small belt-mounted sensor (more gear!) for acceleration etc. This data, combined with GSM location data, is used to “semi-automatically infer transportation mode.” Greener modes yield more points, which appear as more polar bears or leaves on a tree on phone screens.
I like the designs and the feedback a user gets. But extra gear is not feasible for mass adoption. The team says next steps are to use the iPhone’s built in accelerometer for a 1-gadget solution. That’ll work, and may be the beginnings of micro-gathered sustainability data that can be re-used for other useful purposes.