chicago-sensor-boxBustling cities have always drawn the general populace from near and far away in the search for a “better life”, so to speak, and it would help the city’s authorities to be able to keep track of things better and plan for the future if they were to gain a better grasp on the movement patterns of people, not to mention tracking other variables such as the air quality index, among others. The city of Chicago could be a model of a future city, where they will feature lamp posts that will come with data-collection sensors attached. These sensors will measure the likes of air quality, light intensity, sound volume, heat, precipitation, and wind, in addition to being able to count people through the observation of phone traffic.

Do you think that this particular data collection effort is an intrusion into personal privacy, or are you willing to give up a wee bit of your own privacy in order to open the doors to a smarter city? Computer scientist Charlie Catlett claimed that the planners behind this smart lamp post have taken the necessary precautions when it came to sensor design, where it counts the number of contacts it makes with the signal.

Such a swathe of data will also be ripe for the scientists to pick on, where they can then spend time to figure out and develop the various tools that will make Chicago a safer, more efficient and cleaner place to live.

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