Ambient environmental intelligence for greener cities.

Big data and IOT are not remote ideas any more. It gets more real as we measure the air around us telling us that our relationship with it is not transactional anymore.

By: Priya Mani, Design and Research Consultant at Leapcraft

We have long had incomplete knowledge of how humans and the artefacts we generate affect the spaces we live in and in turn its effects on us. This gap is increasingly important as we discover the science behind our existence and its threatened future. Our health and wellbeing is very linked to the health of the micro and macro environments we live in.

Greater economic activity and rapid urbanization has led to severe emissions in some of the world’s fastest growing areas. The impact on air quality has been profound, leading to large populations being exposed to continuously high levels of pollution. Ironically, it is not just industrial advancement that has contributed to air pollution. Billions of people around the world, usually beyond the confines of urban sprawl depend on burning fuels in their home for cooking and heating resulting in heavy, particulated air circulating indoors and posing severe health risks for the inmates. According to WHO, more than 9 out of 10 of the world’s population — 92% — live in places where air pollution exceeds safe limits. 4.3 million people die prematurely every year from illness attributable to the air pollution making it the fourth-largest threat to human health.

In this juncture with increased awareness of the environment and new found extreme miniaturisation of sensors, Leapcraft works with environmental sensing by deploying a network of sensors and using the data harvested to see a hyper local state-of-affairs. Leapcraft’s Pervasive Environmental Intelligence- as a service, working with air quality, noise and traffic data enables cleaner and sustainable cities in the context of a a cityscape would mean measuring multiple parameters in real time to get the real picture.

Objects and the environment are static and in motion and calculating for this duality is critical. Leapcraft has been adept at combining different types of air quality sensors in the same deployment to measure air borne pollutants like particulate matter, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, ozone, sulphur dioxide, chlorine, methane, black carbon,and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) alongside environmental values such as light, noise, temperature and humidity. The instruments themselves have been stationary, mobile and crowdsourced and in use both outdoor and indoor.

CPHSense makes it possible to have a distributed network strategy to gather deep insights and make the data actionable — enabling smart city approaches at much lower cost.

The IoT platform for CPHSense is developed with smart city use cases in focus as the instruments connect immediately to available Wifi and 3G networks making them functional soon after deployment. The platform is facilitated with visual tools for real time monitoring and mathematical modelling are applied on top of this to achieve deep insight and pattern recognition. The sensor instruments are designed for rapid deployment and continuous calibration keeping operational costs low.

CPHSense’s plug ’n’ play device : Low cost, rugged, calibrated sensor adaptable for various power sources and use with solar panels. Sensor fusion with various gas, particle & noise sensors with 3G / wifi connectivity.

Leapcraft uses their deep knowledge in environment sensing for indoor climate monitoring as well. Built spaces are calculatedly outfitted with Ambinodes (instrument with sensor fusions) to harvest hyper local data within built spaces. This especially, has been very insightful as the outdoor data is quite complementary to the indoor data and enables a whole host of new use cases to be addressed.

With a network of sensor nodes harvesting hyperlocal data, thousands of data points are gathered for any given use case each day and streamed back to their offices in Copenhagen. Leapcraft’s team of data scientists and robust data processing software can cope with the huge volume of real time analytics and streaming data. The use of sensors opens up the possibility to actually look for patterns, analyse historic data and even deliver insights for both planning and remedial measures if required. The deluge of the so called Internet of Things (IoT) is creating unforeseen possibilities in using data to empower city planning and building architecture with new knowledge.

In the recent months, Leapcraft has experienced unprecedented growth and need for sensor network deployments across cities and buildings. They believe data openness, connectivity and providing APIs in formats that can be readily used by other parties is key to repeat and scale such approaches in global cities, and enabling collaborations with cities and architects.

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