How CitySense Could Revolutionize our Lives
Every so often there emerges another big trend in technology, the “next big thing,” and right now it’s the connection of everything. “The Internet of things” gives us the ability to connect everything from our refrigerator/freezer to our watches. There’s something much bigger on the horizon when it comes to the Internet of things and in some cities, it’s already here. CitySense aims to revolutionize how we look at the movements of people around large cities.
CitySense relies on GPS sensors that connect to smartphones around the city. So far, San Francisco and New York have been fitted with thousands of these sensors that fit into taxis, rail stations, street lamps, bars, clubs and more. Leveraging this network of sensors, CitySense creates a picture of who’s going where and why by studying behavioral patterns. Software on users’ phones connects to these stations around the city and can get a picture of where large groups of people, dubbed “tribes,” are headed.
So, CitySense knows where people are going and can then relay this information onto a map, but just why and how will this change our lives? Let’s take a look at some of the key reasons below.
CitySense Makes Local About People, Rather than Places
With services like Google Maps telling us what’s local, you’d think they’d be no need for a service like CitySense. Well, local services today simply tell us what’s nearby, not who. What good is a bar name if it has no reviews and we don’t know that anyone will be there?
CitySense changes all of this by grouping people together near hot bars, making it much easier to find the best places to party and eat. Through tribes such as the “young and edgy” tag, you could simply get an idea of where young people are going. CitySense makes it possible to easily meet up with like-minded people.
It’s Safe and Protects Your Identity
With last year’s revelation concerning the NSA and global surveillance, it’s understandable that users are concerned about using something that shares their location, but CitySense has made sure its system is safe and secure. The software on smartphones contain no logons or passwords and CitySense never need to know your phone number. In fact, it’s up to users to control what data is stored on their device and everything can be deleted in a few clicks.
CitySense may seem like an invasive and dangerous new system, but in reality it’s very safe. The end goal is, of course, to earn money through very specific advertising, but on the whole CitySense is perfectly safe to use.
You Can Make the Most of Your City
Thanks to the tribes feature, you can really get to know your city. You can find out how many people head to the park on a Wednesday evening for live music or how many people head out to the bars on a Friday night. Thanks to the ability to find out how many people are where, you can really get to know the best places to go. No matter how long you’ve lived somewhere, CitySense can teach you something new.
You could discover new coffee shops in hidden alleys that you’ve never thought about because your regular has been your home for years. These new places you discover can lead to new people and new friends, even after years of living in the same place.
CitySense is Ready for the Future
In the coming years, the Internet of things is going to take over modern life, and even traffic light systems will be connected to the Internet. CitySense brings this down to a very personal level. After all, the driving force behind CitySense is people; without people there would be no point to the system. With this, we become more conscious that the most precious resource in a city is in fact its people; we know where our fellow man is going and we can take the pulse of the city. Once the development costs come down, CitySense could make its way across the pond to Europe and beyond.
With wearable technology the next big thing, CitySense is ripe for the future. Can you imagine a future where you get notifications on where the group of people you’re with is moving to next on your iWatch? Google Glass could tap into this for travelers and let people know where the biggest attractions are at any given time. The future is bright for CitySense, and technology lovers will be thrilled when it expands to more cities around the globe.