San Francisco Street Sweepers Testing Clean Air Sniffing Devices

Walking into Research@Intel day was like pulling back the curtain and seeing how researchers are pushing idea buttons and project levers to not only keep Moore’s Law alive, but to put future computer prowess to meet real human needs.

Sure there were the hardcore silicon science projects like optical interconnects inside computer chips and focusing specific chip cores to help bring energy efficiency for our future High Def video viewing pleasure. There were even robotic hands grabbing lots of attention.

What sent my imagination racing was the crowd sourcing potential of this project, which uses wireless sensor and transmitter technology to measure air quality. This is from Intel’s Berkeley Labs team and they’re currently working a pilot with the City of San Francisco.

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See in this video the sensor accessorized N95 mobile phone prototypes that are now attached to a fleet of street sweepers zooming around the city in the early morning hours. They are collecting and transmitting real time air measurements to the Internet, where Intel researchers can analyze and track pockets of air quality.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we could contribute to these types of helpful causes by merely “opting in” to a service available on our mobile phone? Some day, maybe…

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