Paris park benches are getting smarter
See How These 3,000 Paris Park Benches Are Getting A Smart Makeover
The iconic green benches you see as you stroll around Paris were created as street furniture in the 1850s by the French architect Gabriel Davioud. Since that time, not much has changed with the green wooden and metal benches, until now.
With Paris striving to become a smart city, city planners are beginning to embrace IoT technology to turn these analog benches into smart benches. Through the use of beacons from Nodle, the smart benches will be able to record how long and how many people use the benches over a period of time.
The city plans to transform 3,000 benches throughout Paris parks and Métro stations by the close of 2019. Groupe Saint Léonard, a French urban furniture company, is testing and installing the benches.
According to Nodle, the beacons will be attached and embedded into the benches and other city installations to gather two data in two separate, but complementary, ways —passive and permission-based data sharing.
Passive data will be gathered through the Bluetooth beacons, and is capable of running for run years or decades without a charge. Beacons will record activity when individuals with Bluetooth-enabled phones sit on a bench.
With active permissive data sharing, Parisians and visitors will be able to participate through the official City of Paris app which will send them survey prompts when they open the program within proximity to the smart bench. The questions are proximity-based, so if a visitor is near a bench on the Champs-Élyssées, they will receive questions related to that area and those specific benches. If they were in the Bois de Vincennes, the app will ask different questions.
Micha Benoliel, CEO of Nodle, said the city of Paris wanted to leverage new technologies to keep on providing the best experience to its citizens and its visitors.
“New technology [..] can help builders and city planners gain better insight into the millions of people who move through cities like Paris every day,” said Benoliel. “A great city like Paris is both eternal and always changing. New technologies [..] can help city planners improve the city without damaging its essence. The Internet of Things adds convenience without subtracting charm or mystique.”
Benoliel believes that municipal design is at the beginning of a paradigm shift.
“Twenty-first-century urban design emphasizes public design, green initiatives, innovative landscaping, and seamless integration of modern technology,” added Benoliel.
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