The student duo of Jin Fan and Kevin Muise at the Simon Fraser University in Canada have developed an application that uses Facebook as a platform to propel users towards a greener existence. Aptly named -GreeNet, the application depends on data from electricity providers to establish energy consumption patterns of users and accordingly creates a virtual garden in the user’s profile. Greener habits result in greener gardens with more trees and flowers.
The idea is get users to compare their energy usage with others and feel inspired to adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Muise likens the process to actual gardening,"You see other people’s gardens growing beautifully and get the urge to improve your lawn." The GreeNet application got second position in the ‘Interface Design’ category at the recently held Imagine Cup that is sponsored by Microsoft.
Fan and Muise chose Facebook – a popular social networking site for their application as they are looking to target the youth – "who one day will be the decision makers." However for the application to be successful it will need to be linked directly to energy use, which will require the participation of energy service providers in the project.
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