This Week in Sustainability: Weather Monitoring from Space and Energy Efficient Gadget Control

| Josh Henretig

earthGigaOM published a story about GeoMetWatch, a Utah-based company that plans to send sensors into orbit on communications satellites that will constantly scan for atmospheric data that can help predict abnormal weather patterns. The data can also be purchased by individuals and institutions for localized implementation. The concept is based on technology developed by NASA, this GeoMetWatch’s version is less expensive and more reliable, which allows the data to be sold at a lower price. The value in such material is having detailed information on climate-related issues early enough to track and better understand trends and predictions. Innovations like this one are contributing to the explosion of information that Big Data solutions, from ecosystem models to smart buildings, are beginning to tackle.

Also in GigaOM this week was a piece on The Valta, a system that hopes to improve home energy efficiency. Valta uses a communications hub linked to Wi-Fi and a series of smart electricity sockets to direct the information, which in turn lets people use a smartphone to turn off electronics when away from home. The system will also monitor energy use over time to help people understand their personal energy usage and find ways to reduce energy waste. Projects such as Valta continue to demonstrate IT’s value in reducing energy consumption and promoting sustainability at home.

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