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Researchers Ready Personal Energy Monitoring Devices

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Cambridge Computer Lab's Simon Hay

Simon Hay of Cambridge's Computer Lab

Credit: University of Cambridge

Embedded data mining, inertial sensors, and global positioning systems are used in a wireless device being developed to monitor the amount of energy a person consumes on a daily basis. Developed by researchers at Cambridge University's Computer Laboratory, the Personal Energy Meter (PEM) would record everything from the energy consumed while traveling, the heating and appliances people use, to the indirect energy used as a result of consuming manufactured food and goods.

"Our Personal Energy Meter builds on existing environmental foot-printing efforts by considering if it is possible to apportion a fair share of the energy consumed by an activity or artifact down to a personal level," says Cambridge's Computer Lab Simon Hay. "We believe that it is possible to make the process virtually automatic, so that PEM users are free to go about their day normally without manually entering data."

The PEM could be created as a separate device, but also could be incorporated into a mobile phone. The project is part of Computing for the Future of the Planet, a larger research program at the university.

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