Smart Citizen: Manchester Launch

FutureEverything is bringing the world’s largest independent environmental sensing network – Smart Citizen – to the UK with Intel.

Manchester is only the third city in the world to create its own Smart Citizen community, with the support of FutureEverything and Intel, following the example of Barcelona and Amsterdam.

This is not the launch of a product, but the kickoff of a local community engaged with the development of better tools for citizens to participate in the production of their cities.

Free sensors are limited, people in Manchester can sign up and attend a training workshop to take home a free Smart Citizen device.

Smart Citizen Training Day
Organiser: FutureEverything
Wednesday 28 May 2014, 6pm-10pm
Manchester Science Park
Manchester M15 6SE

Apply Here

To qualify for a free sensor you need to live or work in Manchester and commit to:

  • Install a sensor within 3m radius of the city centre
  • Keep it powered, online and contributing data
  • Be an active member of the Smart Citizen community by contributing to the project’s evolution
  • Attend an initial training day and later occasional meet-ups
  • Answer occasional online questionnaires and/or interview

Apply Here

The Smart Citizen project aims to enable citizens to become active in capturing, sharing, making sense of data on their local city, through the development of low-cost sensors.

The Smart Citizens platform is open to anyone, anywhere. But this FutureEverything collaboration with Smart Citizens and Intel begins in Manchester. People in Manchester can join a community of people in the city installing the sensors, sharing data, as part of the wider global network. For Smart Citizen, the deployment in Manchester with FutureEverything is very important.

Connecting data, people and knowledge, the objective of the platform is to serve as a node for building productive open indicators and distributed tools, and thereafter the collective construction of the city for its own inhabitants.

Manchester is the third city in the world to create its own Smart Citizen community, with the support of FutureEverything and Intel, following the example of Barcelona with the support of a crowdfunding campaign, and Amsterdam which recently deployed 100 sensors in the city with the support of the city government and Waag Society.

Places are limited – there are 25 free sensors plus cases available in this initial stage. This is an initial kickoff, more rounds are planned, and people join the community by independently creating their own sensor through smartcitizen.me.

The Smart Citizen project is based on geolocation, Internet and free hardware and software for data collection and sharing ( Smart Citizen Kit – SCK , RESTful api, Mobile App and, the web community. The first layer (http://www.smartcitizen.me/pages/sck) is a piece of hardware comprised by two printed-circuit boards: an interchangeable daughterboard or shield, and an arduino-compatible data-processing board. We have nicknamed the shield developed for this campaign ‘The Ambient Board.’ As the name suggests, it carries sensors that measure air composition (CO and NO2), temperature, light intensity, sound levels, and humidity. Once it’s set up, the ambient board is able to stream data measured by the sensors over Wi-Fi using the FCC-certified, wireless module on the data-processing board. The device’s low power consumption allows for placing it on balconies and windowsills. Power to the device can be provided by a solar panel and/or battery.

Today we are witnessing big challenges in terms of the technology, sensors are not 100% accurate, and now we can observe how tendencies change in relation with sensor data, or other events, but it is still difficult to tackle a 100% exact measurement. This is one of the challenges that the Smart Citizen project has, we aim to keep building better tools together with the community on top of the initial framework we have been developing during the last 18 months. We expect customized mobile apps, sensors and API use, and we count on technology partners such as Intel to keep the evolution of crowd sensing.

The project is born within Fab Lab Barcelona at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia , both focused centers on the impact of new technologies at different scales of human habitat, from the bits to geography.

Smart Citizens was a theme of the FutureEverything 2013 conference and the Smart Citizens publication by FutureEverything in 2013. The Smart Citizen, FutureEverything and Intel responds to a call in the conference and publication for deeper collaboration between grass roots, government and industry.