Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Track your Carbon Footprint using your GPS-enabled Cell Phone

Several weeks ago, we got really excited about a potential smartphone application that can track your carbon footprint that came out of the UCLA’s Center for Embedded Network Sensing (CENS). The application, when downloaded onto a GPS-enabled phone, could track information such as the amount of smog produced while driving, pollution inhaled while walking and other tools that measure harmful environmental impact. The news was incredibly exciting until we realized that the application, still in beta testing, is only available to UCLA students and faculty who want to participate in the testing, with no consumer release date available.

Today, we became excited again. This time, Andreas Zachariah, a graduate student at the Royal College of Art in London came up with the idea for a carbon footprint calculator for your cell phone. The application, Carbon Diem, can be downloaded to your GPS-enabled phone to track your carbon footprint. In fact, the only thing you need to do is carry your phone with you. No inputting numbers or routes or types of transportation. The application tracks your travels and mode of transportation based on the speed you’re going, with nearly 100 percent accuracy on airplanes and trains, and slightly lower accuracy on buses, according to the testing done with Nokia and Blackberry phones. While Carbon Diem has not been released, a launch has been planned for next year.

Most people are concerned about the environment; a lot of us even attempt to do something about it. It looks like mobile carbon footprint calculators are about to change the way we view our impact on the world. I told you it was exciting news!

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