We've begun to unlock the potential of shared spaces —through real-time sensing

What’s a Smart City again?

The first project that got Bitsence going was working with the City of Boston to found a consortium called Local Sense Lab (LSL) with two MIT other startups. LSL’s mission is to help the City lead the way to de-mystifying what makes a city “smart”. Instead of theorizing, the consortium took the lean startup approach of prototyping and piloting smart city solutions through a deployment of a suite of sensors in Boston’s historic Downtown Crossing district. Bitsence managed and led the technology and data analytics pieces of the pilot puzzle.

As part of the pilot, Bitsence deployed a human activity sensor and environmental sensors for temperature, light, noise and air quality. The sensors sent data to the cloud for storage. We then sliced and diced the data to compare the different streets that make up the historic pedestrian mall and presented our findings to both city official and to the Downtown Crossing Business Improvement District. Not only did we measure the pulse of the area as part of this pilot, but our work at Bitsence fed directly into Boston’s Smart City Playbook, a “City-wide strategy for the use of sensor technologies that is people-centered, problem-driven, and responsible”. The pilot brought up issues ranging from data privacy and ownership to technology interoperability to the (surprisingly) refreshing notion of figuring out what questions to answer first before deep-diving into the solution.

We continue to work with the City of Boston and we hope to give you an update on our future collaborations soon.

La French Touch

On June 27, Bitsence was invited to pitch at the New York edition of the La French Touch conference. The conference, in its fourth year, serves as a bridge between the United States and France . In doing so, it brings together different stakeholders including city government officials, investors, startups from both sides of the Atlantic, big consulting companies and much more. Florent Peyre, one of Bitsence’s mentors, had extended the invitation to us to give a 4 minute pitch and we were very happy and grateful to be there.

The pitch was well received: we met a diverse group of people after the pitch and had great conversations about challenges cities face including those of accessibility, security and others. We also talked with several exciting potential partners including an architecture firm working on re-designing a university campus and a founder of a social entrepreneurship co-working space looking to expand his company’s real-estate.

Stay tuned here and we will keep you posted as things progress!

Cinco De Mayo Fab@Cafe Launch Party

BitSence partnered with the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) to run a pilot deployment during the month of May. For Cinco de Mayo, CIC organized a launch party for the first fabrication cafe in the United States at their Boston site. The launch party was a success, and CIC wanted to measure the utility of the fabrication machines (3-D printers, laser cutters, etc.) and of the maker space/cafe in general to gauge the impact of the launch party on visitors’ behavior in the space. To that end, BitSence installed three sensors before the event, and the data on space usage started streaming in that same night.

After a week of data collection, BitSence sent a report of the data analytics findings to CIC and the managers of the maker space/cafe. The managers were euphoric with the results, especially since the footfall measured by the sensors matched very closely with their sales data and the dwell time measured matched the cafe manager’s manual observations of how long people stayed.