The city is using a $200,000 grant from the Argonne National Laborator to fund a pilot project that CIO Brenna Berman hopes will give researchers a better analytical understanding of the Windy City, Emergency Management reports.
Up to 30 sensors will be installed on light poles in the city’s downtown area this summer to collect environmental data, including weather and air quality measurements. Other cities, such as San Jose, Calif., are launching similiar projects. Researchers and the public will have real-time access to the data.
“The sensors will also estimate pedestrian traffic on the sidewalks by counting the number of smartphones in the area. The sensors’ nodes will not collect or save the unique addresses of the phone, nor will the sensors include cameras or recording devices.” Berman said she believes the city has properly addressed privacy issues.