Thursday

Watch Lets Crowds Monitor Air Quality in Paris

The Green Watch

The project « green watch / Citypulse » was conceived under the programm Cities 2.0 of Fing (Fondation internet nouvelle génération). The aim is to multiply by 1000 the number of environmental sensors in the city, while encouraging people’s implication in measuring environmental indices, thus associating them directly to building a sustainable city.

The green watch comprizes a watch and two environmental sensors (ozone, noise). Data are regularly broadcasted via a mobile phone to an open platform called Citypulse which receives, stores and makes measure data available and anonymous. Data can then be used freely in order to be shown on maps, used in models, etc..

30 prototypes of the green watch will be tested in May 2009 by residents of the 2nd arrondissement of Paris (Digital District) and also during Futur en Seine, by highschool students of Montreuil (Maison Populaire), by researchers in the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie and by visitors of the wikiplaza, place de la Bastille. Maps made from data collected by these beta-testers will be available on the website

Air quality is a matter of urgent concern to residents of most large cities, and Paris is no exception. There are currently only 10 public sensors monitoring that important variable in the City of Lights, however, so a new initiative now aims to equip everyday citizens with a special device that can measure and report air-quality data regularly for collective use.

The Green Watch, or Montre Verte, is a specially equipped device worn on the wrist that includes not just a time piece but also a GPS chip, a Bluetooth chip, and ozone and noise sensors. At scheduled times—or on request of the wearer—the watch measures and saves air-quality and noise data, describing them in qualitative terms such as "good" or "bad." Those values are then returned to the user via the screen of his or her mobile phone in the image of an eye, where the colour of the eye's pupil indicates air quality while that of the iris represents noise. Finally, via the mobile phone, the watch sends the data to an open platform called Citypulse, either in real time via the mobile carrier or by synchronization when the user hooks the watch up to his or her computer. All measures are time-stamped, geolocated and saved; from there, they become available to anyone who wants to use them—and who has committed to an ethical charter. Potential uses include public matters such as mapping and citizen warnings, as well as business applications, such as services for people who suffer from asthma.

The Green Watch program is part of the Cities 2.0 program developed by FING, or the Fondation Internet Nouvelle Génération, as a way to increase the number of environmental sensors in Paris while also motivating citizens to take steps toward sustainability. Data from beta tests performed in May, with sponsorship from the Région Île-de-France and the Futur en Seine event, are currently available on the project's website. One to emulate—or sponsor—in a less-than-entirely-sustainable city near you...?

Website: www.lamontreverte.org
Contact: lamontreverte@fing.org

September, 23-25, 2009 : The Green Watch will be demonstrated and experienced by visitors of Picnic in Amsterdam 23 – 25 Sept 2009. Besides, Daniel Kaplan will speak during the Ecomap lab on the 25th September : the theme is : “how to map the environment (eg. energy, waste & mobility), aggregate the data and visualize it to promote behavioral change and reduce CO2 footprints”.

PICNIC is a unique festival and an inspiring conference complimented by a set of networking events and hands-on technology experiences for top creatives and innovation professionals in business, technology, new media, entertainment, science and the arts.

via Springwise (Thank you Patrick!)

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