It is beautiful and 'green' - which in contemporary design is half the battle won. There are two types of eco design: products that actively reduce our consumption of fossil fuels, and those that create awareness. Is Wattson, like many of the latter, just another eco-gimmick?
While most environmentally aware people are already conscious of their energy consumption, there are still those who only make the connection with their utility bills, seeing at once a sinking bank account and another deposit of environmental self-loathing.
Translating a light left on in the living room to rising sea levels takes some imagination. In this sense, Wattson is ingenious, replacing talk of tonnes of carbon with money as an ongoing measure of energy consumption. The real-time, currency shock factor alone of seeing what you are actually using, as opposed to what you think you are, makes for interesting reading.
The question is, will it inspire users to turn off those switches? Perhaps the Wattson online community, where users can upload their personal energy usage data, will provide further incentive.
Wattson has ranked on some top-10 gadget lists, and anything as beautifully designed, practical and eco-aware as this deserves high praise indeed.
Design: DIY KYOTO.