Let’s start by letting us know a little about the team behind Eco2go
We’re “5 guys from Ontario”. 3 recent grads from Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo and 2 Masters students in Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto. We really enjoy working as a team – we each bring different strengths to the table, and we think that has contributed to our success so far.
So What is Eco2go and how did it come about?
Eco2go is a mobile application that allows you to track and reduce your carbon footprint and share ideas and inspire others from around the world to do the same.
Besides tracking your footprint, you can:
- Reduce your carbon footprint. Eco2go finds and suggests public transit alternatives for your trips on your phone.
- Inspire others with your stories, join the Eco2go network to build a global community around sustainable living – you’re not alone!
- Offset your footprint. Eco2go calculates the carbon output of your trips and lets you offset it with carbon credits as you go.
We were brainstorming fun ideas to work on during exams – it always seems to be exam time when people find things, anything, to distract themselves. We’ve always wanted to work on a technology project together, and this was a great opportunity. We also have a keen interest in the environment, and have many classmates who are going into the fields of alternative energy, green buildings. Given the huge challenge of global warming and the need to solve it on many levels, this project was ideally suited to our interests and expertise.
What is your ultimate goal with Eco2go, what are you hoping to achieve?
Our ultimate goal with Eco2go is to have it proliferate and be installed onto as many smartphones as possible. We want to raise awareness about individuals’ impact on the environment. At the same time, we want to do it in a non-judgemental way, and allow users to feel comfortable with their own amount of participation.
We don’t think many people will buy a specific device to track their carbon emissions. However, if it’s an easy to download, viral application that is fun to use, and connects you with an inclusive community of ideas to help you live greener, then we think there will be many users. We want to spread this application around as much as we can!
What drew you to the Android platform as the base for your application?
The fact they opened up a lot of functionality and was no strings attached, it wasn’t so much ‘working’ for a company or a competition. It was more like an invitation to create something new.
How did you find developing with Android in comparison to other platforms, positive/negative aspects?
Positive: Flexibility to program what we want, community support and code snippets – many of the things that users love about open source software projects and Google.
Negative: There were some bugs and lack of documentation at times. Still, there is a solid sdk, and great community support. We still want to know though, when Google is going to open up the APIs used in their own applications.
Do you have any plans to release Eco2go for other devices, for example Apple iPhone?
Any opportunities to increase the Eco2go userbase would be great – although right now we are focused on the next phase of the Google Android competition.
Eco2go is one of the top 50 ADC finalists, congratulations on that! How do you plan to use the money?
We’re going to Disneyland! ;)
We haven’t really given too much thought to the prize money as we’re busy with the next round of the challenge.
How do you plan to distribute/market the Eco2go application?
That’s also something we will think about after the next phase of competition. However we have had lots of interest shown from people who want to help get to that stage.
Do you have any other android based applications in the pipeline?
We definitely have a lot of ideas for applications, and we’re hoping in the future to make some of these a reality.