The Energy and Resources Institute,New Delhi(TERI) in collaboration with a telecom major Qualcomm Incorporated,has developed a new mobile application named SootSwap which is aimed to estimate the amount of smoke emitted while cooking on clean stoves instead of the traditional ones i.e., the mud stoves.
In India,cooking on mud stoves is an ancient approach and approximately three billion people from tribal and rural areas still follow the traditional way of cooking.But cooking on a mud stove has its own disadvantages.A survey reveals that about four million people die every year due to the inhalation of the smoke emitted while cooking over open fires.
The new app SootSwap provides an affordable, reliable, cell phone-based, monitoring device that works with special ‘clean cookstoves’.It not only helps rural people to stay healthy but also helps them to reduce the usage of wood and coal that they utilise while cooking in a conventional way.
These ‘clean cookstoves’ are very economical and are available for Rs. 2,700 – Rs. 5,500.The mobile app working with clean cookstoves mainly concentrate on supervising the reduction carbon emissions after the usage of the clean stoves.
The SootSwap system includes a mobile phone-based temperature-sensing application and a thermal sensor that connects to a BREW,an operating system of Qualcomm,CDMA or Android phone.
The sensor is activated by the temperature of the cookstove when it is fired up and this temperature information is uploaded wirelessly to a server from the cellphone.The data is analyzed at the server to indicate the number of times a stove is used and the duration of each use.This way the stoves usage is monitored remotely.
A trail version of this project has been carried out successfully which involved more than 100 rural families in various villages of Uttar Pradesh,India.In the next phase of test trail,the mobile app will be used along with Project Surya’s2 Climate Credit Pilot Project, known as C2P2.
Inspite of all these efforts,it doesn’t seem to be as fruitful as the developers believe because the app is targeted at the users who are economically backward and most of them doesn’t own a mobile and will not be ready to spend their money for a phone/smart-phone.
However,the intention behind developing the app is completely appreciable and seem to be advantageous.The success of the app will depend on number of people it reaches.