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September, 2021 - Augusti, 2024
Sep, 2021 - Aug, 2024
6 186 267 kr
Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan
Internet står för 9% av den globala elanvändningen och andelen förväntas fördubblas till 2030. Varje nytt system förutsätter en tillväxt och drivs av antagandet att elektricitet och Internet alltid kommer att vara tillgängligt.
Detta projekt utforskar idén om ett soldrivet Internet som en plattform för att uppmuntra till en mer energimedveten Internetanvändning. Genom att begränsa energianvändningen utmanar ett soldrivet Internet de konsumtionsmönster som vår interaktion bygger på. Under vintern och för varje kvadratmeter solceller kan ett svenskt hem konsumera 50 MB data per dag. En sådan begränsning kan kommunicera och visualisera de resursmässiga kostnaderna för att använda Internet t.ex. i termer av “soltimmar” för olika Internettjänster.
Projektet kommer att utveckla en testbädd med en soldriven webbserver, fem webbplatser, ett nytt paradigm för interaktionsdesign utifrån energi-begränsningar och ett verktyg för att utvärdera Internetanvändning för intermittent energitillförsel.
As people gain more access to the Internet, they use more data and energy demanding content (Zheleva et al. 2013). Content producers, technology designers, and service providers promote more energy-intensive media, and the cycle continues. Electricity consumption from the global internet accounts for up to about 9% of all electricity used when including computing devices, data centers, and the services that connect them (Van Heddeghem, et al. 2014). This figure is projected to double by 2030 (Andrae and Elder, 2015). But what happens when people have less access to the Internet?
This project will test this question, by creating a working Solar Internet, a model of online interaction based on solar energy. We will create 5 Solar powered websites, designed around a new collection of interaction design principles and patterns for when we need to communicate energy constraints during interaction. Design principles offer general guidance on how best to think about and design for a specific context and design patterns for concrete solutions to recurring problems. We will also build a tool for consumers, designers, technology and service providers, to assess their energy demand for their Internet products. By doing so, we will demonstrate the potential for constraints-based interaction design of socio-technical infrastructures, such as the Internet, to help reduce energy consumption and design practices around Internet services.
The exponential increase in the energy demand of IT and online services is spread among societal actors and has resulted from three things:
This assumption of boundlessness, “the cornucopian paradigm”, is evident in the “all you can eat” data plans, video streaming bundles, increasing download sizes for software and updates, and autoplayed video adverts that we encounter on a daily basis. Across the globe, as connectivity increases so too do consumption of data-intensive media (Zheleva et al. 2013). Efficiency of devices, networks and data centres cannot keep up. By contrast, understanding digital services and their energy as a limited resource and disrupting (Poole, Comber and Hoonhout, 2015) the cornucopian paradigm in use and design of Internet services, can help to develop a more sustainable energy system and build resilient internet services (Tomlinson, et al. 2013; Nardi, et al. 2018; Widdicks and Pargman, 2019).
This project will create interaction design patterns that assume constraints rather than abundance. For instance, just as your phone battery runs out, so too could your internet browsers, or the server for the website you are visiting. For example, during winter, a Swedish home could only consume approximately 50MB of data a day for every meter of solar paneling, equating to 1 minute of streaming video.
Although such limits are real for Internet users in rural and developing contexts (Wyche et al. 2010, Vigil, et al. 2015), in the current cornucopian paradigm the constraints of the Solar Internet provide a way in which we can bring the energy cost of Internet use closer to the practices of Internet use. This is a challenge to consumers, technology designers and developers, service providers and the energy-markets to reduce, by design, the electricity consumption of internet use.
This project therefore will develop constraints-based design principles and patterns for Internet services. We will use limited solar energy as a means to create and explore new interactions, services and consumption patterns associated with Internet use. Estimates from Low Tech Magazine’s solar website implementation (De Decker, 2018) suggest savings on data transfer alone amount to an approximate 80% reduction. While transforming the entire Internet to a solar-powered infrastructure is beyond the scope of this project, reductions following the approximated 80-99% energy demand per user are targeted for our solar powered websites. In addition, we seek to reduce consumer perceptions and preferences for Internet use by 10-20% (i.e. visit or revisit websites at a reduced rate).
This project builds on the expertise of Comber in designing for sustainability for habits and in the home (Poole, Comber and Hoonhout, 2015; Thieme et al. 2012; Comber and Thieme, 2012, Green, Comber and Kusnetsov, 2020), Hazas on linking energy and data demand (Lord et al. 2015; Morley et al. 2018; Widdicks et al. 2017, 2019a; Hill et al. 2020), Pargman on computing within limits (Nardi, et al. 2018, Pargman and Wallsten, 2017) and provocations on sustainability (Raghavan and Pargman, 2017, Pargman and Raghavan, 2014) including the recently started project “Homo Colossus” (Montgomery, 2019), and Hedin on behaviour change technologies for sustainability (Hedin, et al. 2019, Hedin and Zapico, 2017, 2018).
The joint expertise across Human-Computer Interaction, interaction design and computing science, provide a complimentary team with skills and expertise to deliver a novel platform and paradigm for constraints-based Internet use through the Solar Internet. Each team member has managed research projects, including funding from diverse sources such as the EU, Energimyndigheten, Formas, Vinnova, UK EPSRC, NERC, and BBSRC.
This project will break new ground on research on a constraints model of Internet use and substantiate research on the Solar Internet as a means to communicate and change practices around electricity consumption with consumers and technology designers. This is a Human-Computer Interaction challenge that incorporates research perspectives from interaction design, sustainable computing, behaviour change, and visualisation and eco-feedback technologies.
While few examples of Solar Internet projects exist (see De Decker, 2018, Piantella et al., 2020, Willis et al. 2020), there is no extant scientific literature on design principles or patterns for the Solar Internet that address the societal challenges of reducing electricity use associated with Internet use. Two recently published short works (Piantella et al., 2020, Willis et al. 2020) outline the opportunity for the Solar Internet, without developing a substantive approach to interaction design. This project therefore fills a gap between design for constraints, visualising energy use, behaviour change, and tracking the relationship between Internet and electricity demand and use.
To date a constraints based model for Internet use has been examined through modelling internet use (e.g. Preist, et al. 2016), and through examination of real-world settings where limitations exist (e.g. Dye et al. 2018; Vigil-Hayes et al. 2015). These two approaches are contrasted in how they examine energy use in the internet: on the one side, modelling examines internet use in developed contexts such as Sweden, the US and UK, where demand and availability are high.
In this context, the research team has examined the negative impacts of ‘on demand’ data on electricity consumption in mobile and other computing formats (Morley, Widdicks, and Hazas, 2018, Hill, Widdicks, and Hazas, 2020, Hedin and Zapico, 2017, 2018). On the other hand, alternative models of internet use already exist in developing and rural contexts, such as physical media sharing in Cuba (Dye et al. 2018), community browsers on tribal lands (Vigil-Hayes, et al. 2017), in cases of disruption to infrastructures such as in Haiti (Patterson, 2015) and grand visions of global internet supported by balloons from the Loon project.
Recently, this has led to technical innovations including developing on alternative models of the internet, such as Delay Tolerant Networks, Community Access Portals, Community Curated Content, and Crisis Response Networks (cf. Vigil-Hayes, et al. 2018). Reflecting long held views that ‘our need will be the real creator’ (Plato, 2000), when constraints are introduced, such as in Cuba (Dye et al. 2018) and Haiti (Patterson, 2015), creative new practices and resilience are developed which can in this case increase social and environmental sustainability of Internet use.
This project intersects these three approaches to examine a visionary technology platform designed on constraints for the abundant context. The research team has been an advocate for new models of interaction for reduced resource consumption in a number of settings (Pargman and Wallsten, 2017, Ganglbauer, Comber and Fitzpatrick, 2013, Widdicks et al. 2019a). The work also builds on models of energy visualisation in society, including home energy visualisations, visualisation of impacts of various products and practices, and, in industry and academia, visualisations of demand in energy networks.
Eco-visualisation can increase awareness, support cognitive processes in evaluation and decision-making, and importantly makes information about energy consumption tangible and accessible. Yet, eco-visualisation around energy consumption has been found to be effective at around 7% (Darby, 2006). As Willis et al (2020) note, one of the biggest challenges of visualising energy use for the Internet is the vast disparities in estimates of energy costs. Using directly powered devices, we can create a meaningful proxy for total use. Interventions that provoke new modes of thinking about energy consumption may have greater and more long-term impact. Such disruptions (Poole, Comber and Hoonhout, 2015), provide not only the means to visualise energy consumption, but to change the material circumstances of the performance of a behaviour. This has been an effective method, for instance, asking families to live without a car for a year (Hasselqvist et al. 2016).
The team has explored novel forms of feedback technology (Comber and Thieme, 2012, Thieme et al. 2012), socially embedded feedback (Thieme et al. 2012), and reviews of behaviour change relating to sustainable resource consumption (Hedin et al. 2019).
There is a growing number of developer-friendly tools to evaluate energy consumption on the web (cf. WebsiteCarbon, EcoGrader), including tools built into modern browsers (Poulain and Fraser, 2019). However, these tools and services are poorly integrated into users’ Internet use, background the costs of internet use, and, implicitly continue the assumption of resource abundance. Piantella et al. (2020) develop a prototype Solar web-server and describe the potential for educational engagement in STEM, and for uses in local communities where service resilience is needed, but lacking. Morgan Vigil-Hayes and colleagues (2017, 2015, Zheleva et al. 2013) have studied and designed for Internet use on tribal lands in the USA and rural communities, highlighting necessary infrastructure developments for resilience Internet use.
The design of new interaction paradigms for Internet use includes centralised community servers, changing expectations and consumption with the nature of connection, and new social roles in communities. These projects highlight how the ‘use’ of the Internet is also tied up with the ‘design’ of the Internet and energy-intensive interactions and services. Our testbed of websites, will allow us to communicate alternative approaches and our simulator will allow designers to test out new interactions.
The research team has previously explored different forms of communication and engagement (Comber and Thieme, 2012, 2017), specifically related to feedback and visualisation (Hedin and Zapico, 2017, 2018, Pargman et al. 2020, Pargman et al. 2021).
The goal of this project is to advance knowledge and practice on constraints-based interaction design principles and patterns using the example of the Solar Internet. We will target 80-90% reduction in resource use and 10-20% reduction in end-user behaviour and attitudes to consumption. Subgoals include:
Andrae, A. S. G., & Edler, T. (2015). On Global Electricity Usage of Communication Technology: Trends to 2030. Challenges, 6(1), 117–157. https://doi.org/10.3390/challe6010117
Comber, R., & Thieme, A. (2017). BinCam: Evaluating Persuasion at Multiple Scales. In Behavior Change Research and Theory: Psychological and Technological Perspectives. Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-802690-8.00009-8
De Decker, K. (2018). How Much Energy Do We Need? LOW-TECH MAGAZINE. https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2018/01/how-much-energy-do-we-need.html
Dye, M., Nemer, D., Mangiameli, J., Bruckman, A. S., & Kumar, N. (2018). El Paquete Semanal: The Week’s Internet in Havana. Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1145/3173574.3174213
Green, N., Comber, R., & Kuznesof, S. (2020). A Digital Nexus: Sustainable HCI and Domestic Resource Consumption. In S. J. Yates & R. E. Rice (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Digital Technology and Society (pp. 185–218). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190932596.013.7
Hedin, B., Katzeff, C., Eriksson, E., & Pargman, D. (2019). A Systematic Review of Digital Behaviour Change Interventions for More Sustainable Food Consumption. Sustainability, 11(9), 2638. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092638
Hedin, B., & Zapico, J. (2017). Kilowh.at – Increasing Energy Awareness Using an Interactive Energy Comparison Tool. In P. W. de Vries, H. Oinas-Kukkonen, L. Siemons, N. Beerlage-de Jong, & L. van Gemert-Pijnen (Eds.), Persuasive Technology: Development and Implementation of Personalized Technologies to Change Attitudes and Behaviors (pp. 175–185). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-55134-0_14
Hill, J., Widdicks, K., & Hazas, M. (2020). Mapping the Scope of Software Interventions for Moderate Internet Use on Mobile Devices. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on ICT for Sustainability, 204–212. https://doi.org/10.1145/3401335.3401361
Lord, C., Hazas, M., Clear, A. K., Bates, O., Whittam, R., Morley, J., & Friday, A. (2015). Demand in My Pocket: Mobile Devices and the Data Connectivity Marshalled in Support of Everyday Practice. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems – CHI ’15, 2729–2738. https://doi.org/10.1145/2702123.2702162
Montgomery, K. (2019, November 15). Hur mycket väger du, egentligen? Tidningen Extrakt. https://www.extrakt.se/hur-mycket-vager-du-egentligen/
Morley, J., Widdicks, K., & Hazas, M. (2018). Digitalisation, energy and data demand: The impact of Internet traffic on overall and peak electricity consumption. Energy Research & Social Science, 38, 128–137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2018.01.018
Nardi, B., Tomlinson, B., Patterson, D. J., Chen, J., Pargman, D., Raghavan, B., & Penzenstadler, B. (2018). Computing within limits. Communications of the ACM, 61(10), 86–93. https://doi.org/10.1145/3183582
Pargman, D., & Raghavan, B. (2014). Rethinking sustainability in computing: From buzzword to non-negotiable limits. Proceedings of the 8th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Fun, Fast, Foundational, 638–647. https://doi.org/10.1145/2639189.2639228
Pargman, D., & Wallsten, B. (2017). Resource Scarcity and Socially Just Internet Access over Time and Space. Proceedings of the 2017 Workshop on Computing Within Limits, 29–36. https://doi.org/10.1145/3080556.3084083
Poole, E. S., Comber, R., & Hoonhout, J. (2014). Disruption as a Research Method for Studying Technology Use in Homes. Interacting with Computers, 27(1), 13–20. https://doi.org/10.1093/iwc/iwu035
Preist, C., Schien, D., & Blevis, E. (2016). Understanding and Mitigating the Effects of Device and Cloud Service Design Decisions on the Environmental Footprint of Digital Infrastructure. Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems – CHI ’16, 1324–1337. https://doi.org/10.1145/2858036.2858378
Raghavan, B., & Pargman, D. (2017). Means and Ends in Human-Computer Interaction: Sustainability through Disintermediation. Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 786–796. https://doi.org/10.1145/3025453.3025542
Thieme, A., Comber, R., Miebach, J., Weeden, J., Kraemer, N., Lawson, S., & Olivier, P. (2012). “We’ve bin watching you” – designing for reflection and social persuasion to promote sustainable lifestyles. Proceedings of CHI 2012, 2337–2346. https://doi.org/10.1145/2207676.2208394
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Widdicks, K., Bates, O., Hazas, M., Friday, A., & Beresford, A. R. (2017). Demand Around the Clock: Time Use and Data Demand of Mobile Devices in Everyday Life. Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 5361–5372. https://doi.org/10.1145/3025453.3025730
Widdicks, K., Hazas, M., Bates, O., & Friday, A. (2019). Streaming, Multi-Screens and YouTube: The New (Unsustainable) Ways of Watching in the Home. Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems – CHI ’19, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1145/3290605.3300696
Widdicks, K., & Pargman, D. (2019). Breaking the Cornucopian Paradigm: Towards Moderate Internet Use in Everyday Life. Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Computing within Limits, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1145/3338103.3338105
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Ta gärna kontakt med oss om du har frågor eller funderingar.
Projektet finansieras av Energimyndigheten. Projektets deltagare står själva för sidans innehåll och projektens resultat.