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“Array” of Possibilities: Chicago’s New Wireless Sensor Networks to Create an Urban Internet of Things


IoT won’t just make your life easier; when it’s embedded in cities the same way it’s embedded in homes, cars, and offices, it also has the potential to make your life better.

That’s the hypothesis in Chicago, where a project is underway to establish wireless sensor networks capable of measuring a city’s vitals in the same way a fitness tracker measures an athlete’s.

Obama Places $160 Million Bet on Smart Cities, Internet of Things

Source: Ben Miller, Government Technology

Public-sector participants see the White House's initiative as a means of accelerating investment and interest in building smart cities and the Internet of Things.

The movement to connect everything to everything else just got a big supporter: the White House.

Chicago to track an 'Array of Things' to improve livability

Source: Meredith Francis, WBEZ

Nowadays, a lot of people sport fitness trackers - wearable devices that monitor a person’s steps, heart rate, exercise habits and more. Well, the city of Chicago is hoping to expand on the idea to track the city’s fitness. The project — called The Array of Things (AoT) — will install modular sensor boxes on city street light posts that measure things like climate, air quality and noise.

The project is a collaboration between the University of Chicago, the Argonne National Laboratory, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Northern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Obama pledges $160M to develop 'Smart Cities' apps

Source: Marguerite Reardon, CNet

The Obama administration announced Monday it will invest more than $160 million in a new "Smart Cities" Initiative to build apps aimed at helping improve the quality of life in local communities.

Among the initiative's goals are helping local communities tackle key challenge such as reducing traffic congestion, fighting crime, fostering economic growth, managing the effects of a changing climate, and improving the delivery of city services. As part of the initiative, the National Science Foundation will make more than $35 million in new grants and the National Institute of Standards and Technology will invest more than $10 million to help build a research infrastructure to develop applications and technology that "smart cities" can use.


A federal full-court press for smart cities IT

Source: GCN Staff, GCN

The Obama Administration has launched a broad smart cities campaign, announcing $160 million in federal funding and more than 25 new public-private collaborations to help local communities use emerging technologies to reduce traffic congestion, fight crime, foster economic growth and improve the delivery of city services.

Programs and funding were announced on Sept. 14, and involve federal agencies, cities, universities, industry and cross-sector community collaborations.  The efforts were also showcased at a Sept. 14 "White House Smart Cities Forum" in Washington, D.C.


Array Of Things Gets $3.1M Grant To Roll Out Data Nodes City-Wide Next Year

Source: Karis Hustad, ChicagoInno

University of Chicago's ambitious big data Array of Things (AoT) project is set to roll out 500 data-sensing nodes across the city by the end of 2017, with the aim of using data to solve urban infrastructure problems.

The large scale roll out will be supported by a $3.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation, the University of Chicago announced Monday. This grant will fund the installation and development of the 500 nodes, which will be placed throughout the city based on community and researcher input. This funding makes the project the first infrastructure in which researchers can rapidly deploy sensors, embedded systems, computing and communications systems at scale in an urban environment, the NSF said.