24 November 2008

MIT and the City of Copenhagen

I've had a few links about this sent to me, but I haven't figured out how to blog about it. So I'll just chuck up a link and summarise... :-)

Here's an article about it called A Quantum Leap in Bike Mechanics.

MIT is teaming up with the City of Copenhagen to develop The Smart Biking Project, based out of the SENSEable City Laboratory, an MIT research group focused on technology and cities, part of MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

Using a Facebook application called "I Crossed Your Path," cyclists will be able to make connections with each other by exchanging information - online or through a smartphone - about which routes they took that day. The program, which formally gets underway in 2009, will work through a smart tag that functions a lot like RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. The tag, which they expect to be the size of a USB flash drive, can be installed under a bike seat, inside the frame, or on a headlight.

"MIT's smart tags will have low power consumption, low bandwidth, and will be affordable at under $30 per tag," said Christine Outram, project leader and a graduate student in the Master of Science in Architecture Studies program.

"If I ride past a particular point, and a friend from Facebook or another social networking site rides past, I can get a little ping on my bike, or a text message on my cellphone, or a message that will appear on my social networking site," Outram said.