A visual and immersive experience with factual data will help the user in assimilating the information that the (often complex) data model is trying to convey, was the basic idea.
Greener Me is a conceptual experiment in constructing immersive data representation in the form of a game. It is an attempt to represent statistical information about energy patterns in a ‘physical’ form. Players have environments (rendered in Unity3D) on their screen that are constructed from climate change statistics (obtained from IPCC and NASA). They can navigate their avatars/vehicles in the environments via motion tracking from a Kinect sensor. A further integration with Xbox web services will help keep up the competition.
The ‘effort’ or the difficulty here was to be mapped with the gravity of the data. So a non-trivial statistic required more effort from the player to clear a stage. At the end of every stage, a few tasks to reduce individual energy consumption are displayed completing which gives virtual in-game rewards. These tasks are actual real life tasks like “Reduce your electricity consumption by 500kWh this month” et al. A smart metering system to measure and evaluate the completion of these tasks is a part of the entire system.
The idea was to provide people with a fluent way to realize the gravity of the certain kinds of data via conveying the complex mathematical data in a physically expressible form.
This conceptual solution served as my entry to the Imagine Cup 2012, Kinect Fun Labs challenge which later qualified amongst the top 70 ideas worldwide and landed me in the finals.