Our homes are becoming more and more embedded with sensors and this creates the possibility of a home that is fully quantified and trackable. I’ve designed a unit of measurement called HEX (home efficiency index) that enables homeowners to compare different kinds of services, products and actions. Being able to compare different things leads to better decisions, and an incentive for improvement. This could create a global movement for being more efficient, making better choices, and it would also force utility providers to create more user-centered services. HEX is a dynamic, personal unit of measuring the long term impacts of our decisions.
It's tough to be in control of such a complex system as our home. It is difficult to see the outcomes of decisions when they affect multiple things. Based on the "quantified self" movement, I've created a system that quantifies aspects of our home, to help us clearly see the impacts of our decisions. To show us a mirror so we can change.
HEX (home efficiency index) is a unit of measurement, or rather a function, that is calculated by using a number of constants and variables. With this method, we can create a common denominator, so we can compare seemingly unrelated decisions, devices and services. Things we could not compare before. HEX is a dynamic, personal indicator of the impact of our decisions.
For example, this is the graph of buying a new car. At first, it's not worth it, because of the large investment, but over time, it saves money on gas, and pollutes less than the previous one. After a while it will start to have problems, or the market has created better options, so it's HEX value is going back into the negative. Time for a change. This method could be used in many ways, to make smarter choices.
Being able to compare creates a responsibility that could transform the way we make decisions from an individual to a global scale.
Because of easy comparison, providers would be forced to leave the predefined package deals behind, and offer customised solutions to customers.
It could be augmented by a wall mounted console that shows the basic information about your home, and show how much HEX points you've saved. It could also function as a kind of limited home controller (heating, locks, etc..). This would create a way to be informed by just a glance, not having to open up websites or apps anywhere.