Designing effective policies to encourage energy efficiency requires an understanding of behavior and the factors that influence household energy usage. The EVIDENT project aims to offer fresh perspectives on how to reform policy to increase energy efficiency. The project looks into the variables that influence decision-making using a big collection of data, which will be gathered by EVIDENT through smart metering systems, field tests, questionnaires, and other sources. During the project’s lifetime, the project’s partners designed and developed the EVIDENT platform to fulfill the needs of the projects for designing and implementing the corresponding experiments and deliver a complete endpoint solution that combines all the assets, services, and tools created during the course of the project.

The EVIDENT platform is an innovative ecosystem that aims to revolutionize data-driven decision-making not only for energy stakeholders but for all researchers who want to conduct a lab experiment in controllable environments for hypotheses testing purposes. The platform’s cohesive system promises to enhance collaboration and efficiency, making it an exciting development to watch in the field of data collection.

The platform provides two different roles. The first role is the organizer who is capable of using the platform to design and implement an e-lab experiment aiming to collect a large amount of data, while the second role is the participant who enter the platform to provide input to the published experiments.

The EVIDENT platform has been developed utilizing a modular design strategy, allowing for future expansion requirements by adding the necessary apps or functionalities. One key comparative advantage of it, is its capacity to hold e-lab research experiments, providing organizations with a significant degree of flexibility. Moreover, this approach allows organizations to combine surveys (crowdsourcing service) and serious games (serious game service) in any number and combination they desire, enabling them to set up customized e-lab experiments according to their specific research giving greater accessibility and convenience eventually generating valuable insights. A concise elaboration of the main components of the EVIDENT platform is presented below.

The EVIDENT platform crowdsourcing service is designed to work seamlessly with surveys, providing a powerful tool for gathering diverse data and valuable feedback from individuals. This integration allows for efficient and effective data collection, while ensuring that the results are representative of a diverse population. Through an extensive toolbox and building blocks, users create customized and detailed surveys to meet specific research questions or needs. EVIDENT survey design capabilities include support for 20 different input types giving enhanced attributes that are beneficial for expanding the platform.

Figure 1: Creating a new survey through the EVIDENT platform crowdsourcing service.

The serious game service provides the EVIDENT platform with a unique and interactive component that could interest more users. Through this service, the organizers can upload games developed in the Unity graphics engine and use them as concrete steps for their experiments. The games can be configured to receive input from previous surveys and provide a more personalized experience to the players. This renders the serious game modular to the organizers’ requirements making the best out of the platform. Eventually, information sent back from the game to the platform can be utilized by the experts to harvest valuable insights.

Figure 2: Designing an e-lab experiment through the EVIDENT platform.

Overall, the EVIDENT platform is built on established technology tools and solutions to offer a comprehensive method for planning and implementing online lab experiments. Based on an extendable component-based architecture design, the EVIDENT platform is a flexible and scalable solution for research domains, industries and use cases.

For readers interested in more technical details about the design and the development of the EVIDENT platform, helpful information can be found in all deliverables of work package 6 on this page.