Published on September 29th, 2008 | by Timothy B. Hurst2
New Mobile Phone App to Track Carbon Footprint
A new software application will make keeping track of your carbon footprint as easy as having a mobile phone in your pocket. A London-based start-up has developed software for mobile phones that uses global positioning systems (GPS) to automatically figure out whether you are walking, driving or flying and then calculate your impact on the environment.
Carbon Diem’s inventors claim that, by using GPS to measure the speed and pattern of movement, their algorithm can identify the mode of transport being used. The software then calculates the amount of carbon dioxide the journey has emitted into the atmosphere – without any need for input from the user.
The system’s inventor, Andreas Zachariah, a graduate student of the Royal College of Art in London said, “We’re facilitating people to make little changes and allow those changes to be noted and registered and possibly shared.”
Zachariah has tested the software in Nokia and Blackberry phones and claims that the software was almost 100% accurate in working out when people were on airplanes or trains in tests over the past year. It was between 65-75% accurate at guessing when people traveled on buses.
Zachariah said he had the idea for Carbon Diem when he tried to work out his own carbon footprint using the many online calculators available. These usually involve manually entering the details of type of transport and the length of a journey.
“The whole process is so painful,” Zachariah said. “That’s when I realised it had to be effortless.”