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Copenhagen cyclists get SENSEable with smart tags

copenhagen-bikeA new research initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is deploying sensors and hand-held electronics to residents in different cities around the world to better understand how people interact with the built environment.

The SENSEable City’s latest project involved distributing some 1,000 smart tags to bicycle riders in Copenhagen, which will be hosting the UN Conference on Climate Change this December. The tags will do more than simply track each cyclist’s route, however: data from the sensors will be fed into Facebook to allow each rider to log in and see which other bike riders crossed their paths and who’s pedaled the most kilometres.

“The casual observer can use the visualisation to choose the most appropriate routes through the city and the events they would like to see,” states the MIT Web page on the “Real Time Copenhagen” project. “In doing so, there is a realisation that they themselves have become an agent of change in the shifting urban environment that surrounds them.”

The SENSEable City programme ultimate goal? To demonstrate “how embedded technologies can improve the sustainability of cities.”

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