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Android-based home energy monitor

Energy & Sustainability Technology
Android-based home energy monitor

MOTO Labs will be unveiling their “DIY Android Home Energy Monitor” today at Maker Faire. MOTO’s Daniell Hebert will be giving a talk, “Android Beyond the Phone,” at 3:30pm Sunday, on the main stage. The MOTO Labs booth is 113 in Expo Hall.

So what is the AHEM?

The MOTO DIY Android Home Energy Monitor (AHEM) utilizes an average wireless network. Wireless webcams take pictures of the ever-changing dials on the user’s utility meters. A BeagleBoard running Android and the MOTO AHEM custom applications push the pictures up to a Flickr photo set.

MOTO AHEM application prompts and transcribes numbers into your Flickr image tag. Saving the image spurs the MOTO Labs’ Google Gadget to automatically chart meter activity on the user’s Google home page.

More information can be found here on their website.

14 thoughts on “Android-based home energy monitor

  1. AvideDesigner says:

    I like the idea of webcam with the energy meter. A great meet between a old technology with a new technology!

    1. Pev says:

      Hacking something like “the owl” monitor would be a bit simpler mind!

  2. Keiji Kawashi says:

    I congratulate the idea!
    One criticism: using more energy (router, webcams, websites) to track energy use is a bit contradictory, yes?

    1. Colecoman1982 says:

      @Keiji: Have you ever heard the term “you need to spend money to make money”? It applies to energy efficiency too. Trying to save energy without tracking your usage is an effort in futility. Sure, you might be successful just using anecdotes and hunches, but you could, just as easily, be making it worse without ever knowing. Ideally, we’ll all, eventually, have “smart meters” that will have this feature built in (using much less power) but, in the mean-time, this might work and shouldn’t use all that much power if set up right.

  3. Alert Electrical says:

    Nice! Would like to see how this works in practice.

  4. Alert Electrical says:

    Nice! Would like to see how this works in practice.

  5. MeteorElectrical says:

    Wow, this is really amazing, is they a chance that now it is more compact so that they would be seen as hidden cameras?

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn
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