Learning To Save Energy From A USB Stick

Why would you need your mother to tell you to put a sweater on when you get cold when a USB stick can do it for you?

A Scottish company announced the release of what it’s calling the first ever “intelligent interactive comfort meter.” The USB-powered device — branded a “ComfoMeter” — measures temperature and humidity around a user and displays that information on his or her computer screen. A demo screen, shown below, graphically indicates temperature and humidity levels relative to a preset comfort zone. It also relates information about a built space’s airflow, outside conditions and recommended clothing levels (hence suggestions to add or remove clothing).

comfometer

Image via Kyle Electric Design

Manufactured by Glasgow-based Kyle Electric Design, the device can tell users whether there are measures they can take to reduce energy use in their immediate surroundings. That could help them properly set heating systems, evaluate the effectiveness of insulation and even track conditions in a particular section of an office or house over time. It also might address a new focus on energy efficiency taking hold in U.K. policy.

At current conversion rates, ComfoMeters sell for about $58. The first devices will be used by a university to maximize efficiency in mid-20th century buildings that don’t have modern heating and ventilation systems.