Weekly experimenters updates #4


The CAMoN Colombian team was invited to the First Festival of Innovation, Fun and Progress in Cali, organized by the Mayor's Office of Santiago de Cali.

It has been a productive week! After some adjustments, calibrations, software debugging and hard work, the CAMoN Spanish team has begun to carry out the first outdoor tests of our sensors device prototype, which measures 5 types of polluting gases present in the air:

- Carbon dioxide (CO2)
- Carbon monoxide (CO)
- Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
- Tropospheric ozone (O3)
- Sulfur dioxide (SO2)


The last week has been quite intense, with a lot of work going into making an updated version of the prototype that returns more accurate measurements of the filling levels, setting up the LoRaWAN gateway in Herning and experimenting with the iRecycle button.

LoRaWAN Gateway Installation
After careful planning and a lot of hours spent configuring and testing the gateway, it has been installed in Herning and is now officially online on The Things Network as well.

The gateway is now accessible to anyone in Herning and can be used to relay data from LoRaWAN devices. Yey! 🙂

Filling Level Measurement prototype
There has been good progress on working on the new version of the prototype that is more robust. It has been assembled and running in outdoor conditions for a few days. The device seems to perform optimally and is relaying the data to the Herning LoRaWAN network, located at more than 3km from the development area.


The promotion of the project
The ParGarCom project has two well-differentiated features: a technological component linked to the development of an app and another consisting of dissemination and possible follow-up beyond the final stage of the experiment, by seeking its own sponsorship or self-financing lines.

As part of this communication component and more than two months after the project began, we have been overwhelmed by the interest of the media, not only traditional written media but also digital, radio and audiovisual media.

Although the diffusion has been on a regional scale (Mallorca, Spain), we believe that this interest can also be transferred to other places when the project starts in Santander. And this is because it is not only a tool for publicising the companies involved, but also makes it possible to reach a wider audience and serve as a call for other cities, immersed in their own Smart City projects, to see how an experimental project born from a European entity such as Organicity, feeds on existing information in the city itself (sensors, news…) or provides new information generated by its own citizens or visitors.

We think that promotion is an important part of any project and it won’t be the first or the last time, that a technically perfect project doesn’t generate the interest that a priori could be thought of, not only for not getting the media interested on it and favor its diffusion, but also and even more importantly, not knowing how to reach the interest of the end user. In our case, Optimum Ventas, working side by side with Beesensor aims to be the link that many technology companies lack and we believe that the interest shown during this initial phase by the media will continue in March when the app is officially launched in the city of Santander.

As a result of the interview we had on January 18th, on Sunday 21st a Beesensor and Optimum report was published in the Ara Balears newspaper ( talking about the project ParGarCom and Organicity. The following images are from the interview and publication in the newspaper.

On January 19th and after troubleshooting the data loading problems, the app can be downloaded at the following address:

Temporarily, the installation of unknown software on the mobile phone must be enabled for downloading. The following images are extracted from the app.

During these last few days we have been preparing more listings of entities to upload to the app, screens for user creation, login and send comments. In addition, to avoid that to perform the installation we have to have enabled the installation of unknown software on the mobile phone, we have looked at how to install the app with ionic view. We expect these or other improvements to be incorporated by next week.

Green Roof Monitoring

Lots of snow in Oslo lately and our green roof turned white … The snow isn’t melting, this means that our rain measurements show is basically a flat line.

This week we were invited to Statsbygg, the state owned company managing public buildings, to brainstorm on how to innovate, digitalize, smarten and green their buildings. Green roofs and real-time monitoring fits very well in this picture.


We have spent the last week getting into more detail with the use flow and interaction of the SafeCity app. We have especially focused on further developing the interaction for the sign-up flow so that it feels more informal and conversational. We want to create a chat feel, even though responses from the app (at least for this experiment) will be automated.

We have also developed a similar approach for the reporting use case, though we are in parallel looking at a more traditional approach for reporting. We are considering how a chat interaction for reporting will be experienced, considering it might be used at a moment where the user is - to some degree - in distress. At best, the chat "bot" (although, again, it will not be intelligent) would be perceived as a compassionate listener or helper that gets you through the reporting swiftly. However, the chat interaction might also be perceived as slow, at a time when you just want to share important information. For now, we still consider these two options for reporting.

Our concept is now ready for a first prototype round and Kanda is starting the programming. Within the next few weeks we will be able to test the app!

This week we have started wireframing the SafeCity app, which enables us to go into more depth and detail with flow and functionality. We have been working with the main functionality areas in the app:

Receiving and reading notifications

In December, we had a focus group with 6 Aarhus citizens where we talked about their perception of safety in Aarhus in general and discussed our initial SafeCity concept in particular. Based on their input, we saw a need to adjust our concept. While participants were enthusiastic about the notion of providing fellow citizens and authorities with information that could enhance safety, they were not interested in a map where unsafe areas were visualized. The reframed concept is therefore focused on receiving notifications from - and reporting information to - the app, while providing users with a sense of community around the building on a safer city.

This week we have been clarifying the use scenario and started wireframing the concept.

Open data Velenje

We are gathering stakeholders and talking to them about how to get best data. We have managed to get local public bike rental data and local transport. Still talking to local communal company and waste disposal company. Having some technical setbacks (problems with hardware) but in the coming week, we will solve it.

Traffic Pollution Flow

Our air sensors have now been re-calibrated so that they do not lose power during the measuring phase - this was done by changing the measuring time interval. They will be put up Friday the 26th of January and have a adjustment period of 5 days.

We also had a midway meeting with our partner group where we discussed changes to the project so that we can write a thorough Interim report for OrganiCity as per our email correspondence. Here we agreed to changing the scope so that we do not make an adjustment of the intersection traffic lights but instead conduct a longer measuring period so that we get more solid data to analyse in order to find a correlation between traffic management and air pollution.

Data On Site (Research[x]Design)

See our blog here: Blog

Edinburgh CitySounds

See our blog here: Blog

Tranquil City

Over the last two weeks we have been planning and promoting our Co-creation event to launch and showcase the prototype of our Tranquil Pavement London web-app.

It has been an intense couple of weeks, pushing out newsletters with our partners, Instagram posts to our crowdsourcing community, Twitter invites, invitations to the supporters of the project we have built up over the past year, as well as posters campaigning in each of our three areas to create a buzz.

Tranquil Pavement London Co-creation event – Tuesday 30th January 6.30pm @ The Hive, 1 Melior Place, London SE1 3SZ – Register for free here: Eventbrite

The proposal for the event is to be an informal evening, introducing the Tranquil City project to those who haven’t heard of it before, discussing our experiment within our three focus areas and with our partners, as well as introducing the Tranquil Pavement London web-app to the audience. We will then run a few tasks to get people using and experimenting with the web-app, as well as asking them questions that will help inform the further development phase, such as if they can understand intuitively how it works, whether they can easily understand the pollution information, whether they would be encouraged to post tranquil spaces to the map themselves and what additional features could they imagine being part of the web-app.

During the end of December, we conducted some research into how other campaigns have built communities around the development of their apps, such as CityMapper and Monzo. This event format was framed around these findings, where we can support our followers to have a free, fun and relaxed evening helping to create something bigger and we hope to continue running these events every couple months following our OrganiCity experiment and open up to more people in the city. We are also producing campaign materials to giveaway at the end to create a Tranquil City Community, in which guests can join the movement and help spread the word.

City of London Business Healthy newsletter.

Bermonsey Street noticeboard poster (London Bridge focus area)

In the background the web-app prototype has been refined and a workshop day with Outlandish last week helped us ensure that all the elements we feel are necessary for Co-creation event are included in place. This included trouble with reading pollution points due to the order of map elements, ensuring that all the tranquil spaces are shown on the map, the tranquil places markers being a suitable size when the map is zoomed out and the user location to follow them if they are moving (once permission is granted of course!). Amil and Abigail at Outlandish have helped us really understand what we need to ask people to make the web-app the best it can be and we are putting the event plan together collaboratively to ask these questions in interesting and engaging ways.

The Instagram API request was finally approved after the efforts of Joaquim at Outlandish and we now have automated #tranquilcitylondon posts within minutes of posting to Instagram. This is an essential element, which enables us to promote the project to a wider audience, and ensures that those who post to the campaign can see their contributions on the map pretty much instantaneously.

Tranquil Pavement London web-app prototype with #tranquilcitylondon posts included.
#tranquilcitylondon page on Instagram showing all contributions to the platform so far.

Along the way this week we have also met some lovely people with whom we can collaborate and showcase Tranquil City project with, including Deptford Does ArtGlimpseBankside Open Spaces Trust and London Car Free Day campaign.

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