When we profiled mobile entrepreneur Andreas Zachariah and his GPS-based carbon footprint application in April, his company, Carbon Hero, was still in the early phases of testing the application. Zachariah tells us this morning that the company has signed on a major corporate customer and is looking to raise its first round of funding, potentially in the range of $1.5 million to $2 million.
Those funds will go toward continued development of the Java-based mobile application, which automatically updates carbon information without the user having to manually input data. The application, now named Carbon Diem, uses GPS location info to automatically monitor your transportation. The app can tell if you drive, fly, take the train or walk, and it fills in your travel info and how much carbon your choice emitted; Carbon Diem then compares your carbon profile against different averages and calculates your improvements.
With the coming of more carbon regulations, Carbon Diem could help companies identify ways to cut their employees’ carbon footprints. That’s why Zachariah is so keen to get his app for BlackBerry and Nokia N-Series users ready. While Carbon Hero’s first corporate customer is looking to implement the service soon, getting the application into the phones of consumers will likely take a major partnership with a carrier or handset maker. Zachariah predicts if he signs a deal with one of those, a wider consumer launch next Spring would be reasonable.
There are other mobile carbon calculators out there using that approach. Google and T-Mobile unveiled a phone powered by Google’s own mobile operating system, Android, last week and are planning to feature a carbon calculator called Ecorio. Much like Carbon Diem, Ecorio pings your GPS to track your travel and can build a velocity profile to figure out how efficiently you’re driving. The team is also working on getting it to recognize air travel, which they hope to have ready by launch.