Watchismo Times | category: environmental


Watchismo Times

THE WATCHISMO TIMES WATCH BLOG A reliquary of obscure timepieces from bygone eras as well as the cutting-edge watch designs of today.

Watch Lets Crowds Monitor Air Quality in Paris

Watch Lets Crowds Monitor Air Quality in ParisThe Green Watch

The project « green watch / Citypulse » was conceived under the programm Cities 2.0 of Fing (Fondation internet nouvelle génération). The aim is to multiply by 1000 the number of environmental sensors in the city, while encouraging people’s implication in measuring environmental indices, thus associating them directly to building a sustainable city.

The green watch comprizes a watch and two environmental sensors (ozone, noise). Data are regularly broadcasted via a mobile phone to an open platform called Citypulse which receives, stores and makes measure data available and anonymous. Data can then be used freely in order to be shown on maps, used in models, etc..

30 prototypes of the green watch will be tested in May 2009 by residents of the 2nd arrondissement of Paris (Digital District) and also during Futur en Seine, by highschool students of Montreuil (Maison Populaire), by researchers in the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie and by visitors of the wikiplaza, place de la Bastille. Maps made from data collected by these beta-testers will be available on the website

Air quality is a matter of urgent concern to residents of most large cities, and Paris is no exception. There are currently only 10 public sensors monitoring that important variable in the City of Lights, however, so a new initiative now aims to equip everyday citizens with a special device that can measure and report air-quality data regularly for collective use.

Watch Lets Crowds Monitor Air Quality in Paris

The Green Watch, or Montre Verte, is a specially equipped device worn on the wrist that includes not just a time piece but also a GPS chip, a Bluetooth chip, and ozone and noise sensors. At scheduled times—or on request of the wearer—the watch measures and saves air-quality and noise data, describing them in qualitative terms such as "good" or "bad." Those values are then returned to the user via the screen of his or her mobile phone in the image of an eye, where the colour of the eye's pupil indicates air quality while that of the iris represents noise. Finally, via the mobile phone, the watch sends the data to an open platform called Citypulse, either in real time via the mobile carrier or by synchronization when the user hooks the watch up to his or her computer. All measures are time-stamped, geolocated and saved; from there, they become available to anyone who wants to use them—and who has committed to an ethical charter. Potential uses include public matters such as mapping and citizen warnings, as well as business applications, such as services for people who suffer from asthma.

The Green Watch program is part of the Cities 2.0 program developed by FING, or the Fondation Internet Nouvelle Génération, as a way to increase the number of environmental sensors in Paris while also motivating citizens to take steps toward sustainability. Data from beta tests performed in May, with sponsorship from the Région Île-de-France and the Futur en Seine event, are currently available on the project's website. One to emulate—or sponsor—in a less-than-entirely-sustainable city near you...?


September, 23-25, 2009 : The Green Watch will be demonstrated and experienced by visitors of Picnic in Amsterdam 23 – 25 Sept 2009. Besides, Daniel Kaplan will speak during the Ecomap lab on the 25th September : the theme is : “how to map the environment (eg. energy, waste & mobility), aggregate the data and visualize it to promote behavioral change and reduce CO2 footprints”.

PICNIC is a unique festival and an inspiring conference complimented by a set of networking events and hands-on technology experiences for top creatives and innovation professionals in business, technology, new media, entertainment, science and the arts.

via Springwise (Thank you Patrick!)

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The 1000 Year Forest Clock - The TiWalkMe Escapement

TiWalkMe is a 1000 year clock in the guise of a forest, with annual tree plantings setting the pace of time, and their maturing the clockwork mechanism. TiWalkMe's purpose is to make deep time visible, and thus to help individuals and society focus on those hard, long term problems which determine our success as a species.

Over the next millennia, the TiWalkMe Escapement will constantly move and bow to the winds of time. Sections age, others regrow, and above all, change is embraced. Details must be left to future generations, but this generation will locate the site, etch the overall plan of paths and trees, and set the clock into motion. Never the less, throughout time three principles should guide its evolution:
  • Principle 1: The slow march of trees across the Escapement must always be visible and unobstructed.

  • Principle 2: The Escapement must adapt to future knowledge and needs, yet remain balanced with the past.
  • Principle 3: TiWalkMe's mission is to bring perspective and insight to its visitors.

Bell & Siphon

Rather than a static network of ponds and streams, the Escapement's pools empty periodically into the stream below. Although pumps or other massive infrastructure could be used to force water across each dam, TiWalkMe will adapt a passive, gravity-powered "bell and siphon" to echo nature's grand cycle. Yet the flow will be as dramatic and as willful as nature's own.

The most elegant and efficient pump in the world is a siphon. Containing no moving parts, requiring no forces other than gravity and surface tension for operation, siphons are at work everyday emptying gas tanks, filtering aquariums, and moving drinking water from reservoir to town. More about the Bell & Siphon system-->Link

Overhead view
More on the design-->Link

Conceptualized locations include larger rural or even smaller scale urban settings. The search continues for funding, volunteers, and site selection.

The interesting man behind the TiWalkMe is inventor, physicist, entrepreneur, designer, former Bell Labs chief scientist, and now venture capitalist Greg Blonder of Genuine Ideas. A mad genius of over 70 patents and thousands of other genuine ideas.

After exchanging some emails with Greg, he summed it up nicely for me...

"My main point is captured by Yogi Berra, who famously noted "you can see a lot just by looking". Imagine walking though the forest in the first year, then the second and third. And tenth with your children. Slow down- think- visualize the paths and leaves in your mind.... What will have changed? What risks are a forest like this likely to face from the ravages of nature, visitors, insects? How can one plan and organize to keep the forest safe and a legacy for future generations? Understand the forest, and you will exercise the very same skills we need to develop to solve challenges never before faced in all of human history.

Realistically, as I've searched for an appropriate site and sponsor, they either specify a conventional park, or a conventional business district with mixed use facilities and homes. Short term thinking, of course. A city which embraced the TiWalkMe forest will become a magnet for associated organizations, and then businesses and jobs. Plus, unlike a woollen mill or high tech park, its base will not migrate away. But few visionaries are in power, I'm afraid."

TiWalkMe Website-->Link

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