The Ecogotchi is basically a small, personal device that measures ecological impact. It is a portable, cute, and familiar object backed up by an open ecosystem of feeding, simulating, and advising tools and services offered by a diverse group of actors, and by an infrastructure built on the exchange of information and messages, or the “ecological imprint social network.”
The Ecogotchi a priori is in the shape of a small, cute, portable device, not unlike Bandai’s Tamagotchis. As its specifications are open, several variations can be offered, in addition to virtual versions (such as a programme downloaded onto your mobile phone). The screen displays digits, graphs, or even a little animal that, for example, might suffocate if you buy a certain product, drive solo in your car too often, or fly too frequently, and perhaps do different things in other circumstances.
The Ecogotchi survives on data. And while it might still be necessary to fill out a questionnaire in the beginning, collective effort could ensure that much current data could be collected directly by the device. Captors could transmit their information to it, GPS systems could inform it of distances travelled and means of transport used, barcodes and RFID chips could give it information about products you buy, and so on. Of course, this supposes that standards will be extended or opened up in some cases, or that the Ecogotchi will be authorized to read the data released by captors or other devices.
Thus nourished, the Ecogotchi can take ecological impact beyond the status of a militant pedagogical toll and make it an everyday, practical, and playful measure of our lives.