Team GreeNet includes Jin Fan and Kevin Muise from School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University, BC. Another team called EcoLid from SFU also competed in the Imagine Cup competition - you can read more about the entry on the CanUX blog via my colleague Qixing Zheng.
Team GreeNet is one of the six worldwide finalists in the Imagine Cup Interface Design Competition. Jin and Kevin created a FaceBook application interface called GreeNet (seen below):
Global warming is quickly becoming one of the most important issues facing humankind, and has brought about concerns regarding sustainable practices, especially within western societies. In order to address this issue, we have designed a Facebook application with the purpose of creating a culture of conservation byproviding its users with information on their energy usage. Employing an application through Facebook provides a platform to communicate to thousands of individuals and communities within our target audience who reside in various geographic locations. Social networks, such as Facebook, have become more than a mere source of entertainment – they are a means to communicate new ideas, become an active voice in a community, and more importantly, they are an opportunity to influence culture. Our approach to designing the application was guided by a user-focused process, which has led us to create an enjoyable and informative user experience. Our system provides its users with an interface that acts as a virtual garden, where their participation in energy-conscious activities effects the growth of plants within that space. Users are also provided with information on their energy consumption, along with the consumption of their friends and communities, which can be generated through data from electricity providers. Visualizing this information is used to raise awareness of unsustainable practices through providing individuals feedback on energy consumption within their communities. In doing so, our system acts is means to change energy consumption behavior towards more sustainable practices, not only in individuals, but within society at large. To build the application, Jin and Kevin used Expression Design, Expression Blend 2.5, Visual Studio C# and SIlverlight Streaming. You can view updates on my photo website and read an interview on the team's website.
Here is a video of Kevin Muise explaining the different elements of the GreeNet interface (via Qixing Zheng from the CanUX blog):