The Wilting Flower and The FlowerPod: Two Budding Concepts for Visualizing Home Energy Use
British designer Carl Smith has created a prototype design of what he's calling the Wilting Flower - a fake flower in a vase that signals when your home energy use is steadily increasing by wilting (in rainbow-hued LED lights). That's uncannily close to what the Danish design group Design Nord created in its FlowerPod, another prototype flower in a vase that is intended to monitor home energy use.
Two concepts, separated at birth? The Wilting Flower works via a wireless transmitter clipped to your home's main electricity source. Blooming blue or yellow? Power use is still okay. A red light, however, and your flower is about to topple over in a purple wilt, and eventually the lights go out completely. FlowerPod, on the other hand, is part of a larger home energy management system with a web interface that is supposed to make suggestions on how to curb usage. But will either one of these flower power devices ever see the light of day? Read on.
The Wilting Flower was Carl Smith's major design project for his university studies in Industrial Design and Technology at Loughborough University. While Wilting Flower does use available technology, Smith told Green Muze that there are no current plans to produce the flower, and user testing revealed that it would need further development before it would be feasible.
FlowerPod, on the other hand, was debuted earlier in 2008 and has gone on to receive honorable mentions at both Greener Gadgets and the Smart Living competitions. Design Nord designed FlowerPod to be part of a look at eco-efficient homes for next year's IPCC climate meetings in Copenhagen. So it will likely receive another round of media attention at that time - but there's no current manufacturing plan or pricing. Rather than waiting, the not-so-exciting but still stylish Wattson monitor also clips to your home's energy source and tells you just exactly how many watts (joules) you are using at any given time, or check out the plain but serviceable Smarty Pants monitor. Via: Ecogeek and Design Nord
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