Wearable tech is hot, with new gizmos unveiled at every design expo and technology fair. Runway models are accessorized with functional fashion, even Victoria’s Secret has developed digital duds with their athletic bra that monitors heartbeat. Now London designer Benjamin Hubert and his studio Layer Design have teamed up with British environmental consultancy Carbon Trust to produce a wristband that tracks energy use. The tool – now in conceptual stage – can potentially to enable like-minded users to inspire a movement and transform the world.
Aleyn Smith-Gillespie, associate director Carbon Trust, states on the project website, “ This app has the potential to increase understanding and stimulate action by intuitively communicating and linking our daily activities and decisions to their impacts on the climate.”
It’s similar to dieting apps, where you enter your daily exercise and food intake for a speedy assessment as to progress towards goals. The WorldBeing band goes further. Pair it with a smart phone app, and it tracks everything you buy and eat, your transportation choices, and home and office energy use – calculating associated carbon generation and measuring it against your personal goals.
The injection-molded wristband, made from recycled materials, has an built-in electrocardiogram sensor that can measure wearer’s heartbeat – good news for all who pass on the VS “Incredible” bra. Future prototypes will house a banking chip for executing secure payments.
It’s got a game-like vibe, offering instant visual feedback on your carbon footprint via cloud-shaped graphics of changeable color and size. You can also tag other users in short-term competitions in specific aspects of green living (as example, eat less, walk more). The developers also envision partnerships with local businesses offering discounts and rewards to WorldBeing users.
This video outlines the idea in about four minutes, which nearly exceeds my daily allotment of “free time”, so I can’t imagine investing even more time in continual data entry on all aspects of my life. The developers address this by stating that WorldBeing is designed for a not-so-distant future when digital data tracking is fully automated, sidestepping manual input of what you consume – whether it’s food or energy.
“There has never been a better time to use design as a tool to create meaningful conversation around our personal responsibility to make changes to our lifestyles to stop global warming,” Hubert told Dezeen, “We desperately need a platform that helps the world to understand what our personal carbon footprint is and why we should be decreasing – it in an accessible manner that has a high level of engagement.”
WorldBeing debuted during London Design Festival 2015, held the last week of September. A Thunderclap Crowdshouting campaign is promoting the project.
Images from Layer Design website