The AMEE global environmental intelligence platform is expanding into user-facing apps, including a new hybrid web engine that helps you track down information and get concrete calculations on your carbon footprint.
The AskAMEE Engine
AskAMEE is part of the AMEE project, but it's taking the project's environmental data to a new level of application. Any user can now conduct searches of the environmental database and get calculations on how much any given item, trip, or even food product impacts the environment.
According to a TechCrunch report on the new engine, "You can work out the carbon footprint of 10kg of strawberries, 42 kWh of electricity in the UK and 1 parsec in a Mini Cooper." You can even narrow searches down as far as the exact footprint of different types of plastic. TechCrunch writer Mike Butcher then goes on to describe AMEE as "a bit like Google + WolframAlpha."
Beyond simply allowing access to a searchable database (like Google and other standard search does) or allowing simple questions and answers (like Wolfram Alpha and other "answer engines" do), AskAMEE allows users to dive in with search and get concrete details.
It's more than a little likely that mainstream search engines will start to look more like this as time goes on. The widgets and rich-data SERP extras are just one way that the "standard 10 blue links" is edging more toward a hybrid engine like this one.
More on the AMEE Project
The AMEE project started in 2008 as an attempt to organize the world's environmental data in an actionable way. The project took off when it got a contract with the UK Government, and additional clients since have included CNN and Google, among others.
The company's ambitions aren't at an end, though. Partnerships with Minecraft and Autodesk will build the AMEE engine into the design process itself. There are currently more than a dozen partners.
On the "standard user" front, AMEE is launching multiple apps, including the AskAMEE engine and the foursquare-integrated "Location Footprinter," which lets users track the exact carbon footprint of their trips around or outside of town.
CEO Tim Murphy says the next challenge is finding "repeatable patterns" that can be applied across organizations at a broad scale, effectively providing strategies and solutions that allow large companies to quickly reduce their carbon footprint.
How do you like the AskAMEE engine? Do you think the hybrid style foreshadows the mainstream search of the future? Will technologies like this help you go green? Leave your thoughts in the comments, below.