It is no secret that we are harming the environment. Between toxic air, bizarre temperatures, and increasingly violent weather, all is not right in the world. While it is easy to look at various industries and see how they are hurting the earth, it is a bit more challenging to look inward and understand exactly how your actions are effecting the environment. That is the concept behind Layer Design’s Worldbeing wearable. The Nike Fuelband-like bracelet would work with a companion mobile app to track things such as transportation choices, energy usage, food consumption, and shopping. While still in development, the bracelet would rely on consumption data from power companys’ smart-meters, carbon footprint info from food databases (such as MyFitnessPal), and granulated purchase data from a connect credit card (more detailed information is being added continually to credit card records). If Worldbeing shipped tomorrow you would need to input a lot of the data by hand, but the company behind it, in partnership with the Carbon Trust, believe that by the time Worldbeing becomes available, much of the information would be widely available and automatically fed to the app. The wearable itself is used to monitor your activity and transportation choices in addition to providing a glance-able readout of how your carbon footprint compares to a previous day. Layer Design envisions a social aspect to the Worldbeing, allowing you to compete against friends to have the lowest carbon footprint for the day. Keeping with the whole earth-friendly idea, the plan is to construct the wearable device from recycled plastics and e-waste; it will utilize an ultra low-power e-ink display and charge via a physical connection (induction charging is not very efficient). While there is no schedule for the release of Worldbeing, the device did achieve the goal level of interest on site Thunderclap.
Worldbeing is an interesting product. It doesn’t do anything to improve the environment; actually the entire point of the band is to increase your awareness. It is a call to action, tracking your decisions and hoping that you see what changes you can make in your life to improve the world. What is the impact of leaving your bedroom lights on while you watch TV in the other room? How much more carbon was produced to put that piece of salmon on your dinner plate versus a cut of chicken? How much carbon is released by you taking mass transit? The idea is pretty profound and interesting to think about. Just like calories being printed on a menu, if you understood the carbon impact of your decisions you very likely would make different choices.
Below is the concept video of what a day in the life with Worldbeing would be like.