Read the full story from GreenBiz.
As data increasingly spews from everything — buildings, vehicles, transit systems, cash registers and potentially every light fixture, switch, plug and machine — there’s a growing opportunity to capture it and make it useful for consumers and professionals. Some of it is making its way into apps.
App, of course, is short for “application software.” As anyone with a smartphone, tablet or PC knows, apps come in a vast assortment of flavors: utilities, games, social networking, shopping, productivity, communications, remote monitoring and more. Lots more.
The growth of apps mirrors some of sustainability’s other technology trends — the sharing economy, the smart grid, machine-to-machine communications. All are about data. Big Data: unprecedented and unfathomable volumes of 1s and 0s traversing our world, informing our (and our machines’) decisions about how to achieve the most with the least while addressing everyone’s needs. Energy, water, waste, toxics, carbon — the future of all of these things is linked in large part to how, and how well, we can measure, track, monitor and optimize their flows. And that’s all about data, and the apps that make it useful.
In a world where the perception of clean technology is that it largely “failed” — witness the bankrupt startups and lost investments and (in the U.S., at least) the toxic political conversation that emerged about clean tech during 2012 — apps may be its saving grace. Many of the most promising startups in clean tech focus on devices and apps that enable individuals, households, businesses and cities to use data to improve their energy and environmental footprint.