Design devotee blogs about cities, innovation, architecture and green building.
Tio, the mostly friendly energy ghost
The eco-educational design concept is a ghostly light switch system that changes colors -- from gleeful green to irate red -- the longer household lights stay on.
Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 08:34 AM
As a kid, I’m not sure how well I would have reacted to a glowing, ghost-shaped doodad affixed to a wall in my bedroom. Maybe a koala bear or a kitten would have been more my speed. But I suppose kids these days are less easily spooked and more open to energy conservation, which is the idea behind young British designer Tim Holley’s Tio
The concept behind this clever wall-mounted light switch system for kids is pretty basic: when lights are switched on for less an hour, the smiling Tio “ghost” glows a benevolent green; when the lights are left on for more than four hours, Tio starts to turn an aggravated shade of yellow; when the lights are left on for more than eight hours, Tio’s smile transforms into a menacing grimace and he glows bright red.
No kid who I know would want a scowling ghost on their hands before bedtime, which makes Tio an effective tool in teaching youngsters the importance of energy conservation. What’s more, Holley’s concept involves computer software (info is sent to the computer from the light switch) that allows kids to interact with Tio and track and tweak their energy usage.
It’s not clear what kind of retrofitting is required to run the Onzo
-supported, HSBC Sustainability Award-winning Tio or what the sticker price will be. Still, I like the idea behind this and think it's a worthy green gadget. Would you introduce Tio into your kids’ bedroom? Or would you rather just take the old-fashioned route — teaching by example?
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.