Given the rapid urbanization of our planet, our cities will start creaking at the edges becoming a slow moving mass that is always behind in terms of addressing her citizens needs. We need cities to be able to provide windows of information of its present state on a micro level and we need this information to make its way into repositories that can be analyzed to provide actionable intelligence- in a real or near-real time basis. This is where we think BlueCity can step in and provide a means to address the needs of large scale systems (cities/organizations) to be able to pipe information from the point of observation to a centrally accessible location.
Our solutions are not predicated on particular kinds of information. We are focused on providing the infrastructure to get information from the point of observation to locations where this information can be digested- either via our algorithms/analytical tools or via third party systems that can access this data through our endpoints. One possible use is environmental monitoring where you could hook up one of our boards with temperature and gas sensors (H2O, CO whatever the gas you are interested in monitoring and provided the sensor can detect/provide information on the gas) in a location you are interested in monitoring. Using our app on your phone (or deployed to people in the near vicinity), we could get the data from the sensors (via our board) to our BlueData service, which in turn would provide this information to third party tools that can analyze this data.
Powered by BlueData
This is our primary platform that is currently under development and testing. BlueData is our platform for aggregation of multiple data streams generated through sensors or other possible information providers that are tagged against POI's (Points Of Interest). These streams of information are made available through an external API (RESTFUL) that allows analytical tools to analyze these data streams and hopefully provide actionable intelligence of use to any entity- be it an individual, group, business or even a piece of software. We provide the infrastructure that allows the POI's to be created and data to be logged against the POI in an easy to understand unit of measurement agnostic fashion. Additionally several POIS could be grouped to form a Logical POI further extending the capabilities of the system.
This is our hardware software package that uses BLE enabled devices to relay data from a POI to our BlueData service. You could have a secondary means of getting the data to our Service (maybe dedicated Wi-Fi), we just provide an alternative means using Bluetooth 4 and crowdsourcing to get the data from the sensors to our service. In our experience the aspect of getting data from a sensor to the cloud has always been limited by availability of the communication media- usually relying on dedicated cellular network access. This is cost-prohibitive (subscription fees/ added hardware costs/complexity) and can be a deterrent for the DIY community or for public organizations that have limited budgets.
On the hardware side we have a BLE112 (Bluegiga) based solution, that can have a set of sensors hooked up to it. Our solution (module) allows BLE enabled devices(iOS, Android) to connect to it and collect data from it. The data that is collected pertains to the sensors hooked up to the module. At the moment we use a proximity sensor (to check levels of a garbage can), and a temperature sensor(to measure environment temperature). However the system is designed to be flexible enough that a new kind of sensor (as long as it is ADC and there are available IO pins) can be hot plugged into the system and the module configured without reprogramming. The module can then start transmitting data from the newly added sensor as well.
BlueCity was founded on the concepts of collaborative computing. We believe in the opportunities afforded by advances in mobile computing, low cost sensors and the potential of people interacting with their environment to make the world a better place.
We are a group on tinkerers interested in all aspects of a solution and believe that in order for something to be useful, all aspects in the creation and development process from technology to UI/UX to economic viability must go hand in hand. We also believe that the solutions that engage and involve people have the best possibility in providing solutions to some of the hard problems that we face due to environmental change, population growth, hunger and general resource depletion.
To this end we invite all ideas/discussions about possible solutions. If you have an idea about a cheap effective water filtration system using coconut husks, we would love to hear from you. If you have an idea about utilizing solar power for meeting the cooking needs/ water filtration needs in the developing world we would love to hear from you. If you have ideas about automatic creation of adhoc emergency communication networks we would love to hear from you- we have some ideas about that and would love to collaborate as well. We may not be able to offer much beyond a sounding ground for your ideas or our resources for development, but we will pay attention and try our best to help out if we can!
The emergence of the connected city
O'REILLY Solid Con, May 21-22 2014
O'REILLY Solid Con
BlueCity's Sam Saha, Speaker at O'REILLY Solid Con, May 21st.
A Crowd-Sourced Mechanism To Optimize Garbage Pickup In Public Areas Using Bluetooth 4 And BLE Enabled Devices Like The iPhone
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