Games in Science and Technology

Imagine Cup Finalist Saves Energy Using Kinect

2012 Imagine Cup LogoThe team representing Canada in the software design category of the 2012 Imagine Cup by Microsoft, taking place in Sydney, Australia in July, found a way to save power using Kinect for Xbox 360 motion sensor technology.

Students from George Brown College in Toronto, Ontario have created a system that uses the video game peripheral to monitor workplace lighting and ventilation conditions, generating real energy efficiencies. The team is made up of Timur Sharaftinov, Alecsander Granger, Vasily Gurin and Dmitry Zhivotovsky. Read More...

Called GREENi, their project also uses light and carbon dioxide sensors, as well as programming logic in the cloud on Windows Azure, to monitor workspaces and determine when lighting and ventilation systems should be active. The system was tested as a pilot project at the College's iCREST lab and has produced energy savings. Actual consumption data shows from the facility shows a real improvement.

"There are many buildings out there with energy conserving technology already in place" explains Granger, "but they are disparate and unaware of what each other is doing." He adds that by putting the intelligence right in the sensors and using a cloud based storage platform, all the sensors can work with a unified purpose of conserving energy consumption.

"Great ideas don't accomplish much if they remain on paper," said team mentor Leo Salemi, a faculty member from the Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies at George Brown College. "[W]e are thrilled to be given the opportunity to showcase how we used technology to turn our ideas into reality."

The Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals will take place from July 6 to 10. This year's competition has for theme "Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems." A video outlining the details of the GREENi project can be viewed here.