When I first heard about DIY Kyoto, the literal meaning of the company’s name didn’t immediately strike me. But these designers are doing exactly what they say: creating products that make adhering to the Kyoto Protocol a do-it-yourself endeavor. They began their mission with the Wattson.
The Wattson allows you a direct and simple means of understanding just how much energy your home consumes. The gadget has a sensor which takes a measurement of overall domestic energy consumption as well as assessing individual appliances. It displays the reading as a number and also “non-verbally,” with an ambient red light that dims according to how much power your electronics are sucking through the outlets (which makes it a great educational and interactive nightlight for kids).
On top of its utility, the Wattson has a lovely clean wood meets space-age design – not the kind of device you want to hide in the closet.
The Wattson works wirelessly, so that you can take readings anywhere throughout the house, even for machines in Standby mode. You can learn about your power use in terms of wattage or in terms of costs (in this case, pounds). You may find your microwave costs you 50 pounds a year just to tell the time and wait for you to ask it to do something…
The device stores energy data, which can be downloaded onto your computer for long-term chronological reports on your home’s energy consumption. The computer connection also enables Wattson users to join online conversations about effective strategies for reducing energy use, and compare their own discoveries with those in similar domestic circumstances.