UBIGreen: Investigating a Mobile Tool for Tracking and Supporting Green Transportation Habits

The greatest contributor of CO2 emissions in the average American household is personal transportation. Because transportation is inherently a mobile activity, mobile devices are well suited to sense and provide feedback about these activities. In this paper, we explore the use of personal ambient displays on mobile phones to give users feedback about sensed and self-reported transportation behaviors. We first present results from a set of formative studies exploring our respondents’ existing transportation routines, willingness to engage in and maintain green transportation behavior, and reactions to early mobile phone “green” application design concepts. We then describe the results of a 3-week field study (N=13) of the UbiGreen Transportation Display prototype, a mobile phone application that semi-automatically senses and reveals information about transportation behavior. Our contributions include a working system for semiautomatically tracking transit activity, a visual design capable of engaging users in the goal of increasing green transportation, and the results of our studies, which have implications for the design of future green applications.