Andreas Zachariah and Nick Burch
With Carbon Hero we have developed a mobile based application that tells its user their personal environmental impact due to travel. We set about developing a system that uses a keyring sized sensor to pick up the location and speed of the user, and a mobile to do the magic. Furthermore, taking advantage of the new wave of GNSS-enabled mobiles dispenses even with the need for the keyring sensor. With almost no user input, the mobile runs the Carbon Hero programme, which with its specialist database and algorithm sets out to determine the mode of transport the traveller is using. Predetermined CO2 load factors reflect the varying environmental impacts different forms of transport create. These are then output to the user in a near live fashion on their mobile. The user can then compare their daily, weekly even monthly performance should they wish by way of graphics and text. A fully scalable idea with a huge captive audience and no compromise in privacy. The product can detect train, bus, tube, car, foot powered and even plane travel! Already being capable of capturing airplane travel to over 1,000 international destinations. The pressing environmental issues upon us now, do not call for an evolution in habits, but a revolution. Carbon Hero empowers the individual reminding them of their own contribution, and how as part of a larger system they can be part of a revolution to affect change.
A revolution in providing a direct connection to the user by using the mobile phone to communicate the environmental impact that their travel choices make. In utilising GNSS to assist in establishing the form of transport by way of a proprietary algorithm and then applying reference load factors to sum the CO2 of a journey.
Consumers, corporations, governments etc. are all seeking to better understand and frame the environmental debate. But there is a lack of relevant, individual and reliable data to facilitate a more thorough debate and foundation from which to act upon.
Informed and empowered customers, who themselves are able to make changes in their habits and see the benefit on the environment and world at large are better engaged as change agents. With greater knowledge comes responsibility and we can already see that the consumer is driving corporations and political agendas by their increased awareness.