City Experience Probe - End of Organicity Experimentation

Our OrganiCity experiment is coming to an end and we are excited to share the results with you. We will still be disseminating and developing the project, but our formal experimentation period has come to an end.

City Experience Probe

The first result of our experiment is the City Experience Probe(s). We set out to design and build physically manifested, wirelessly and digitally connected objects that afforded informal interaction in the urban space with the goal of capturing the user's experience.

The City Experience Probe contains of a microprocessor, a GPS and a radio transmitter with very long range covering almost all of DK and almost all of the EU. It easily runs for a week on a charge and has proved to work in both light rain and -5 C°. Currently we have realized in total 6 identical, functioning probes.

The use-case is for probing is pretty simple. Choose what sort of adjectives or words you want to prompt the users for, print, cut and place under the top layer of plexiglass. Place the probes were you want people to initially meet them. And wait for people to interact with them. Assess the experiential data streaming in on a map.

Data collected

After a couple of controlled trials where we closely followed the released probes in the urban, we set the first probes free to live their life as initially intended. It took no more than 20 hours before our first released probes had moved home to someone and eventually losing their GPS fix due to being inside a building. Although some of our probes quickly found a new home and eventually ran out of battery, a decent amount of data was generated!

An example is the data was collected by a probe placed around the main shopping street in the city of Aarhus. Each point is a user interacting and sending information through the probe.

 Places marked as highly clean

Places marked as highly clean

Further steps

That is all very good but what can this be used for?

Almost regardless of your activities information is a potential source of learning. If you wish to know more about a specific area, an upcoming event or your general business City Experience Probe can help you. The Probes are easily customized to accompany your goals or interests and is independent of all existing infrastructure - its just define, deploy and wait for the data to flow.

If you are interested in trying out City Experience Probe or learning more about the project, please do not hesitate to contact us at kontakt@empatidesign.dk or here

Thank you

Finally we need to say big thank you to all parts involved in the realization of this project. Anders & Christian from Montem.io have been a great support to this project and Charlotte from Tovejs has provided valuable help in the inital framing of probes.

And at last a big thank you to Organicity for the support of this experiment and the great opportunity to broaden the scope of what is considered smart city data.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 645198

 

Posted on January 31, 2017 .

City Experience Probe - Probes are loose!

The probes are now loose in the streets of Aarhus!

Maybe you reached this page because you stumbled upon on of the probes or maybe not - either way we are happy to provide a bit of background to what you might have encountered.

The City Experience Probe is an experiment supported by the Organicity project with the goal of expanding what is currently considered urban data (sometimes also recognized under terms such as big data, open data, smart city data or iot) to include peoples in-situ experiences, attitudes or feelings.

If one of our probes are seriously lost and you found it, if the probe is bothering you, or if it somehow stopped working, please do contact us here, or on +45 51892464 or +45 61337411.

If you want more details or more frequent updates we have a messy internal log that we gladly share on request and we will try to use the twitter-hastag #cityexperienceprobe

Posted on December 13, 2016 .

City Experience Probe - Project Kick-off

We are excited to announce the official kick-off of our OrganiCity experiment - City Experience Probe!

The experiment

The vision behind City Experience Probe is to expand what is currently considered urban data (sometimes also recognized under terms such as big data, open data, smart city data or iot) to include peoples in-situ experiences, attitudes or feelings.

This may sound a bit confusing, so let's try to break it down into a couple of tangible actions and objects:

Firstly we are going to build a physical, wireless and digitally connected object that affords interaction on a level that somehow enables the prompting and capturing of the user's experience.

Secondly we are placing/releasing several of these objects into the urban space of Aarhus for people to move around and interact with. Meanwhile we are capturing and aggregating the data on a server.

Thirdly we are going to appropriate the data in order to make it available for those who create and co-create the urban space: Municipalities, shopping malls, transportation companies, stores, organizations, restaurateurs and the citizens

We know, that these actions give rise to a great deal of questions such as: How would you build a digitally, wirelessly connected object that endures the rough conditions of the urban space? How are people prompted for their experiences and how are these captured? How do we make sure that this subjective data is in any way appropriate or valuable? We could go on.

These questions are nevertheless at the center of this experiment. Which it is deliberately called experiments instead of projects because it entails exploration and because it is an act for the purpose of discovery and knowledge production.

About the blog

The purpose of this blog is to make the vision, progress, actions and results open to the public and to make the experiment as transparent as possible. We will make our best effort to answer some of the aforementioned questions within the scope of the experiment and share our findings by publishing them on this blog.

On a side note the blog also serves as a possible explanation to those who might encounter our probes or our interventions following this experiment. The project is not always easily explained to a lot of the everyday people we talk to, and in this case it is nice to be able to point people in the direction of more information e.g. on this blog.

If you want more details or more frequent updates we have a messy log that we gladly share on request and we will try to use the twitter-hastag #cityexperienceprobe

The team

We are Empati, an Aarhus-based design thinking and interaction design consultancy. We work together with mainly tech-companies in the critical development phases of projects where we provide two main services: We build prototypes (read: code, solder, draw, wizard of oz-) and we test (read: talk to real users/customers). This experiment offers one specific example into how we work, but we would also like to encourage you to have a look at our normal blog for more in depth insight into our mindset and work methods.

During the experiment we’re going to team up with different people in order to support our own competencies to ensure a broader perspective on CEP - but more about this in a later blog post!

- Peter & Jonas

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 645198

Posted on October 27, 2016 .