Welcome to the (electric) Dollhouse, developed by Matt Ratto, Mike Borg (Faculty of Information), and Greg Jamieson and Josh Stein (Mechanical Engineering)
Funded by a FedDev Grant. Private partner Ecobee Inc.
Monitoring energy consumption has been a long time necessity for utility companies; however that data has largely been gathered at the unit of a household level. Ecobee, has developed and commercialized a WiFi enabled ecobee Smart Thermsotat (ST) for homeowners and the Energy Management System for commercial applications. These technologies, along with commercial accessories will enable more granular energy monitoring capabilities. When these granular data collection techniques are combined with rich data visualization tools there is the possibility that innovative standards of practice will emerge.
In order to explore these technologies and practices, participants constructed a cardboard dollhouse and outfitted it with a range of energy using devices. The dollhouse was then connected through an ethernet-enabled arduino microcontroller to a web interface that allowed participants to run the house through a simulated ‘day’ of energy-use.
The session was part of a larger research project on the topic of energy monitoring and data visualization within the context of Ecobee’s commercial product-line, and related academic research conducted by members of the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto.