adrian cockle's home on the range
I’ve had a little project nagging at the back of my mind for a couple of years. I’ve got a CurrentCost meter monitoring how much energy we use at home, but it tends to be a bit of an afterthought. It stopped changing our behaviour a few months after we started using it. I’ve wanted to find a way to reveal that information in a way that subconsciously let us know how we’re doing.
When I first saw the Nabaztag it seemed like a bit of a gimmick, but I love the idea of having a cute plastic bunny sitting around the house somewhere (probably the kitchen) showing us when we’re using a bit more energy than we should be. It could be a great tool for putting the metrics of our household into our peripheral vision. I had a vague vision of using its rotating ears to show our average power usage month-on-month, and then the current day’s usage in comparison.
This grand plan sat on the shelf for a while. My desire to get it done didn’t match up to the obstacles: lack of skills, lack of nabaztag, lack of time.
My chum Matt even gave me his old Nabaztag a while back, but frustratingly without a power supply. As the company have taken a turn for the worse, it’s been impossible getting spares. Luckily, a friend from the tweets and general good egg, James Smith, sorted me out with his old Mk 1.
So now I’ve got the hardware and need to start plugging it all together, and a new set of obstacles appear.
I’ve got some researching to do, but I think I could fix 1 & 3 by getting my old 2001 Apple TiBook out from the cupboard it’s composting in. It’s got wifi, so could be a neat little restricted access point. I could also plug the CurrentCost USB adapter in to push the data back to Cosm. I think some geeks have built a version of the Nabaztag server software that you can install and host too, but I have no idea what its capabilities are yet.
So an interesting little collection of technologies to resurrect and hook together to make them do something interesting…
Watch this space for updates on the project.