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.