Technology

WattDepot 

To create sophisticated games based upon energy consumption, it must be possible to collect energy data from meters, store the data, perform analyses on the data, and visualize the results. We developed WattDepot to provide an open source, vendor-neutral framework for energy data collection, storage, analysis, and visualization.   WattDepot is useful not only as technology infrastructure for the Kukui Cup, but as infrastructure for other energy-related initiative such as the Smart Grid.

Robert Brewer and Philip Johnson are the principal designers of WattDepot. Andrea Connell is currently developing extensions and enhancements to the system.

Makahiki

Makahiki is a "serious game engine for sustainability".  It provides an open source, component-based, extensible environment for developing sustainability challenges such as the Kukui Cup and tailoring them to the needs of different organizations.   One configures the Makahiki framework to produce a "challenge instance" with a specific set of game mechanics, user interface features, and experimental goals.   Makahiki provides sophisticated instrumentation to support evaluation of how well the game mechanics supported the organization's goals for the challenge. 

George Lee was the original designer of Makahiki.  Currently George is joined by Yongwen Xu, Robert Brewer, and Philip Johnson to support continuing development of the framework.

Heroku

Heroku is not technology developed specifically for the Kukui Cup challenge.  Rather, it is a commercial "Platform as a Service" (PaaS) technology.  Essentially, Heroku enables an organization to "rent" servers and disk space to run an application for a limited period of time, and Heroku will charge the organization based upon the amount of CPU and file space actually required by the application. 

Heroku lowers the barrier to entry for a new organization who wants to implement a Kukui Cup challenge by removing hardware and IT staff requirements.   Instead, we will work with the organization to configure an instance of the Kukui Cup suited to their situation, and then deploy that instance to a Heroku server where it can be accessed by their players during the challenge.   We estimate that the Heroku fee for running a standard 3 week Kukui Cup Challenge will be approximately $150.   

If an organization has sufficient hardware and IT staff available to locally deploy and run their Kukui Cup Challenge, that is an alternative to Heroku.  However, we think that Heroku-based hosting provides a more convenient, robust, and cost-effective solution.