Want to manage your energy consumption by playing a video game? The OpenShaspa Home Energy Kit aims to do just that, by letting you oversee energy management in a virtual world. Shaspa’s kit, which is constructed from open-source components, contains a system of wireless sensors that control home energy output. The sensors can send data to cell phones and Internet applications like Google’s upcoming PowerMeter. Additional sensors for utility resources like gas and water can also be tacked on.
Wireless sensor networks are becoming increasingly common, but OpenShaspa’s virtual world adds a new element to smart grid energy monitoring. OpenShaspa can be linked to an open-source spin-off of Second Life called OpenSimulator. The game creates a 3-D model of your house, thereby making power consumption a visually navigable space. If you go on vacation, an avatar friend can keep tabs on energy use.
OpenShaspa makes energy consumption even more Web 2.0 with its “Social Energy Meter”, which publishes power usage online so it can be tracked and analyzed on Facebook, Google, Twitter, and more. Social energy tracking devices like Tweet-a-Watt already exist, but none permeate all aspects of online life–social networks, virtual worlds, and Internet applications–so thoroughly.
The OpenShaspa Home Energy Kit goes on sale tomorrow. While the kit is only available for home use now, Shaspa plans on releasing a corporate version in the future.