Creating connected communities through seamless integration of high-tech hardware and software is critical to providing data for us to measure our activity and impact. Many of our installations are designed to activate underutilized public space. To measure their effectiveness, we have found that the ‘Internet of Things’ movement provides an ideal mechanism for generating a steady and reliable stream of data we can analyze for trends. In doing so, we use a combination of Bluetooth beacons and sensors, including motion, light, weight or pressure to touch, and sound, to help us understand when and how people interact with our installations.
This helps us provide data to drive decision making for city and town officials, business leaders and residents of all communities. Our connected installations can produce reports on how many people interact with the installation on a monthly, weekly, daily and hourly count. This enables a layer intelligence in planning for community events and business activities. This integration of technology is unique to our installations and happens seamlessly. This approach ensures that technology enhances the user ability to interact with our installations without getting in the way of their experience.
We are also using technology to connect communities through existing social media networks. We are able to help communities create hashtag campaigns and other marketing campaigns to be managed by local stakeholders, including Chambers of Commerce, local area businesses, community organizations, and youth centered groups.
This helps increase communication between these groups and helps local communities grow together. This hands on approach to managing communication at the local level provides a localized response to keeping the activity engaged and continuous. Thus community groups are able to promote pictures, messaging and videos through existing social media platforms.
Each of these add-on technology services is enhancing our installations by providing rich, near real-time data, continuous feedback loops, and opportunities for members of the community to reach a wider audience.