Layer Design Studio, founded by British designer Benjamin Hubert, have just launched a crowd sourcing campaign for the new wearable and app system Worldbeing. The system was created in collaboration with the Carbon Trust, and offers consumers the potential to gain a better understanding of their personal carbon footprint, along with suggestions and incentives for changing behaviours.
“We wanted to create a platform that was basically about educating consumers as to what their carbon footprint is,” says Hubert.
Most wearables are about inward thinking – about your personal health – we think it is quite a new concept, and we’re trying to work out how to position it in the market.
The Worldbeing system monitors users' carbon footprint by tracking their transport choices, food and shopping choices and sets this against a personalised benchmark. The device can also be used to make contactless payments, using your heartbeat to authorise the payment.
“Depending on your lifestyle you are given a bench mark, which is specific to you. And then your actions are measured against that. So it shows whether you are up or down on your benchmark each day or week or month, depending on your settings,” says Hubert. “The Carbon Trust has helped set objectives that are in tune with your life. So if you have to fly for work it isn’t necessarily about flying less, but about eating less red meat. So it is about making improvements where you can.”
The wearable is made of recycled e-waste, of which the human race creates up to 50 million tons per year. The colour of the band communicates it’s composition: “It was a conscious choice. The device is made from recycled materials and we wanted to make it speak about being responsible, instead of falling into the category of other wearables.”
It also acts as a visual call to action: you are wearing your choices on your sleeve.
The system also has a social dimension and taps into users' social networks: a user can benchmark their carbon footprint against friends and peers, challenge other users and receive badges of achievement when they do particularly well.
“There is a challenge and competitive nature to the app, but instead of being super competitive it is about inspiring more people to do better. The inspiration part is big for us.”
Users can also earn rewards in the form of discounts and vouchers at participating retailers and restaurants, and incentives will diversify and increase as the Worldbeing network grows.
The Carbon Trust are well known in the United Kingdom and in Europe for offering a consultancy service for corporates, informing businesses on how they can decrease their carbon footprint.
“The Carbon Trust helped us with their algorithms and their expertise – they really fed into the science side of the project.”
For the time being the Worldbeing system only exists as a prototype while Layer instigate a crowd-speaking campaign to raise awareness and gage how much the product resonates with the public. Layer will then use feedback from the campaign to refine and develop the product.
“Everything is about people power these days, and I think people have the right to decide if things should exist, and if they should exist in their current format,” says Hubert.
You can add your voice to join the campaign to bring Worldbeing to life by signing up to the Worldbeing Thunderclap, which aims to send out a unified message rallying people to join in the fight against climate change.