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'Array of Things' Expands to Cities with Research Partnerships

Seattle will likely be the first city in the U.S. outside of Chicago to participate in the project, which involves deploying a network of sensors around urban environments.


The Array of Things is expanding outside Chicago. But only to cities that have partnerships with a local university or research institution.

The project, which aims to deploy a fleet of multi-function sensors around the Windy City beginning this year, is also working with city and academic partners to expand to Seattle, as well as Bristol and Newcastle in the United Kingdom. And those are just the beginning — Charlie Catlett, director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data and a driving force behind the project, said he’s working with a total of 18 locations around the world. He’s even partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which wants to test out the sensors’ ability to deliver air quality data as a possible means of improving existing sensors.

And the number of partners keeps on growing. But Catlett said he’s only really going to consider expanding the project to cities that have partnerships in place with a local university or research institute.

There are two reasons for that. The first is that even though the project is aimed at municipal uses, those research-focused institutions will bring the technical expertise to the table that will allow them to work with technology that’s really just getting on its feet.

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