Photos by Jaymi Heimbuch
Platforms that show us our energy usage are getting to be a dime a dozen. Not that it's a bad thing, of course. Knowing our data is a big part of reducing consumption. Dot UI is a start-up wanting to make energy consumption as personalized as possible so that people avoid information overload, and get the data where they're most likely to see it, whether that's their television, a digital photo frame, a mobile phone. Not too unique, since many user dashboards can be displayed on various devices - but they're all typically visual devices. What really stands out with Dot UI is another area they're putting emphasis - ensuring that the visually impaired and disabled can get a hold of their data as quickly and easily as anyone else using the software.
From their website, "Dot UI is a company empowering self-control by providing personalized, accessible and appropriate interfaces for the technology found in people's homes and lives."
Accessible being a key word. One of the features that made the company stand out while talking with them at Cleantech Open is their emphasis on making sure their software works with all devices that have voice recognition and voice prompt capabilities.
"Dot UI brings technology to the user by utilizing open international standards, developed by researchers aiming to deliver accessibility to those in need of non-standard interfaces. We have developed this idea to fit not only the needs of different consumers, but also those of manufacturers and service providers."
By making their software capable of being used with a wide range of tools, Dot UI is going a step farther in ensuring everyone has access to their energy data, and everyone can be engaged in reducing energy use.
"For consumers, we offer the ability to aggregate all of your technology into one personalized UI. Which means a UI where you want it - on your TV, on the web or on your phone. It also means a UI that fits needs - showing your particular devices in a way that matches your needs from them, helping you get the most from your purchases."
Dot UI was shortlisted in the Smart Power category at Cleantech Open, though they were beat out by EcoFactor - of the same category - for the grand prize. They're currently running a pilot program at California State University, Chico among campus apartments and frat houses to show how students can, and want to reduce energy consumption using Dot UI's inexpensive hardware and software platform.
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